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Dredging days doubled for port, Siuslaw River

Posted: Tuesday, Jun 3rd, 2014

Dredge Yaquina 2007/Siuslaw News file photo

Sunday, June 1, the 200-foot trailing suction hopper dredge Yaquina entered the mouth of the Siuslaw River to begin the first of eight scheduled days of dredging. This is nearly double the number of dredging days of the last few years. The eight days will be spread out over the next several months, and comes as very welcome news to the Port of Siuslaw.

The extended days of dredging for the Siuslaw River is a result of wording U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio wrote into the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) of 2014, which guarantees 10 percent of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) be utilized for small harbor dredging. The HMTF is the traditional source of federal funding for dredging and harbor maintenance.

According to Port of Siuslaw Manager Bob Forsythe, “The Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund is a pool of money that large ports pay, like a tax when goods are imported into those harbors. That money goes into a fund that is supposed to be utilized around the United States for harbor maintenance. Only about $800 million a year is allowed by congress to be used, instead of the entire $1.8 billion. According to DeFazio’s office, even the money that is dedicated to harbor maintenance has not been used appropriately.”

For the complete article see the 06-04-2014 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 06-04-2014 paper.

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