2018 Dredging at the Port of Garibaldi

The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay (OIPCB) has completed dredging operations at the Port of Garibaldi, 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. 

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.

In late 2016, the State of Oregon approached the OIPCB, requesting the Port assume operations and management of “THE LAURA”.  The Port of Coos Bay’s management of the dredge 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. 

Currently, dredging projects are selected each year based on severity of need and availability of funding.  The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay will be working with the State of Oregon to establish a committee of ocean and river ports to develop a selection process for dredging projects, since there are significant needs at ports throughout the state. 

The Port of Garibaldi was selected this season because vessels are currently sitting on bottom at low tide, which prevents vessels from getting underway when the tide is out.  The 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.

In speaking with Michael Saindon, the Manager of the Port of Garibaldi, he feels the upcoming dredge work is critical to the safety of the various users of the marina, and the Port’s ability to support the numerous small business owners in the area.  The Port of Coos Bay and the State-owned dredge are instrumental in their ability to have the marina dredged at a reasonable cost.

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.