The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay (OIPCB) has completed dredging operations at the Port of Garibaldi this month, removing 32,000 cubic yards of dredge material from the boat launch and marina utilizing the State of Oregon owned dredge “THE LAURA”. THE LAURA was purchased by the State of Oregon in 2015, with the cooperation of the Oregon Legislature and the Governor’s office. Initially, THE LAURA was slated to only be used at Ports along the south coast to dredge launch ramps and marinas but will now be utilized for dredging projects throughout the State of Oregon.
Dredging at the Port of Garibaldi this year was essential. Prior to completion of the dredging project, vessels were sitting on bottom at low tide, preventing them from getting underway when the tide was out. This project will save time and expense at the Port of Garibaldi, and lead to greater utilization of their facilities. The Port of Garibaldi supports a mix of commercial fishing boats, charter vessels, and recreational fishing vessels.
To complete dredging operations, six Port of Coos Bay staff were stationed at the Port of Garibaldi, working in partnership with three to four Port of Garibaldi staff. Dredging operations could only be done during ebb tides when the tide was going out. As a result, throughout the course of the project staff worked at various times of day and night due to shifting tide patterns.
“It was a pleasure working with the Port of Garibaldi crew to complete a successful operation”, stated John Buckley, Harbormaster for the Charleston Marina and Shipyard.
“THE LAURA”, an Ellicot-360SL swing ladder suction dredge, was purchased by the State following extensive conversations with the South Coast Ports Coalition, including the Ports of Alsea, Bandon, Brookings, Gold Beach, Port Orford, Siuslaw, Umpqua, and Coos Bay. Annual maintenance dredging of navigational channels is conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), to keep shipping channels safe and navigable. However, this annual maintenance dredging by the Corps does not include launch ramps and marinas. Ports across the south coast were struggling to keep marinas and launch ramps navigable due to the cost prohibitive nature of contracted dredging services. Costs associated with marina dredging by private contractors are significantly amplified due to the costs incurred with mobilizing and demobilizing dredge equipment. Smaller ports were not able to afford the cost to dredge their marinas, which has led to significant amounts of shoaling within marinas along the entire Oregon Coast. The result of this shoaling jeopardizes the ability of commercial and recreational fishing fleets to moor, yielding catastrophic economic impacts.
The State’s purchase of “THE LAURA” and her tender, the Ms. SoCo, a 30’ twin outboard vessel equipped with a 1-ton crane, has helped to significantly reduce the cost of dredging in marinas, allowing smaller ports to remain safe and viable. This equipment is an extremely valuable asset for Ports and marinas facilities throughout Oregon.
The Port of Coos Bay operates the LAURA and Ms. SoCo at the request of the State of Oregon. The Port of Coos Bay’s management of THE LAURA helps to streamline and create uniformity in how dredging projects are implemented across the State. The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay is the largest deep water coastal port between San Francisco and the Puget Sound, and as such, has the staff, expertise, and capacity to perform dredging operations for other smaller ports statewide.
The Port of Coos Bay is committed to promoting sustainable development that enhances the economy of southwestern Oregon and the State and supporting port and maritime operations statewide.
For additional media information, please contact:
Margaret Barber, External Affairs Manager, Port of Coos Bay
Phone 541.267.3713 / E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org