Humboldt Harbor Working Group digs in to dredging

Somoa, Ca., (KIEM)- The City of Eureka Parks and Recreation Director Miles Slattery took center stage at a Humboldt Harbor Working Group meeting Wednesday at Samoa Cookhouse.

By and large Slattery discussed the importance of dredging in the harbor. “If we don’t dredge then it’s a navigation issue,” Slattery explained, “And we need to make sure that we have the capacity for accommodating distressed vessels as well as the people that are at our facilities and pay moorage.”

The proper permitting is in place to allow for dredging operations in the next decade, and this year the job will continue until October 30th. The operation, Slattery says, is vital to maintaining a safe harbor.

However, the process is expensive. It takes about $17 dollars to move a square foot of material. In clearing the bay, that adds up to a minimum of $31,000 a day.

“This method that we’re doing now is very supported by all of the agencies. It’s extremely expensive and inefficient, but it is what it is…. we’ve heard nothing but positives.” Slattery says, “A that it’s getting dredged. B that its getting dredged the way that certain entities would like to see it get dredged.”

To counter the costs, the city is planning to sell some of its waterfront holdings near Samoa Bridge. Additionally, there may be a slight hike over time in moorage rates. Still Slattery hopes that little by little the cost of dredging will go down organically.

“Once we get to smaller volumes it won’t be as much of an issue because we may get down to going closer to 1,000 cubic yards a year, as opposed to looking at 100,000 cubic yards.” He explains.