News: Columbia River dredging begins
Story by Michelle Helms
PORTLAND, Ore. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began dredging in the lower Columbia River recently. Operations at the mouth of the river will start between June 20 and July 1.
Commercial and recreational fishermen who have equipment in the area should consult the U.S. Coast Guard Local Notice to Mariners for specific information about dredging and placement locations. The notice is available at http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=lnmDistrict®ion=13.
The dredging is part of the corps' annual river maintenance intended to keep the federal navigation channel safe for commercial shipping. The corps expects to remove five million cubic yards of sediment from the Columbia River and more than 3 million cubic yards from the mouth of the river this season.
Dredging at the mouth of the Columbia River is expected to be complete by October, and the rest of the river by December.
According to the Center for Economic Development and Research, the Columbia/Snake River navigation system is the top export gateway for the Nation's wheat and barley exports. It is also the number one export gateway for west coast wood and mineral bulk exports, as well as for automobile imports. Marine traffic passing the entrance of the Columbia River has increased by 34 percent from 32 million tons in 2003 to 42 million tons in 2010.