Port of Garibaldi Dredging

The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay (OIPCB) is preparing to deploy staff to the Port of Garibaldi.  Utilizing the State of Oregon owned dredge “THE LAURA”, Port of Coos Bay staff will dredge the marina and boat launch at the Port of Garibaldi.  “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.

“THE LAURA”, an Ellicot-360SL swing ladder suction dredge, is capable of dredging to up to -20’, with a material pumping rate of over 200 cubic yards per hour through 3000’ of 10” pipe. It 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. 

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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. 

Last year, the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay partnered with the Port of Alsea to complete dredging in their marina, which is used extensively by recreational users all rear round.  The Port of Alsea was a priority due to extensive shoaling and years of no maintenance dredging. The Port feared that their marina would become completely unviable.

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.

The Port of Coos Bay will deploy 4 staff to the Port of Garibaldi, mobilizing on October 16th and returning to Coos Bay on December 21st, 2017.  These staff members deserve a big “thank you” for their willingness to spend time away from their homes and families for this project, ensuring the strength and future of our sister Ports. 

The Charleston Marina and boat launch have significant dredging needs, as well.  The Port of Coos Bay applied for a dredge disposal permit for the marina, for material placement in the flow lane, however it was denied for the quantities requested.  Current estimates indicate that the Port of Coos Bay will need to remove 40,000 cubic yards from the marina, and 15,000 cubic yards from the shipyard.  The Port is currently exploring other options for dredge material placement, including repair of the upland disposal site in Barview. 

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.