Mad River Union
HUMBOLDT BAY – With shoaling at the entrance to Humboldt Bay hampering shipping, local officials are meeting this week with representatives of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to discuss dredging.
Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District Executive Director Jack Crider and First District Supervisor Rex Bohn plan to meet with the federal agency at its San Francisco office to determine a schedule for dredging the harbor entrance.
The harbor has already lost a visit from one ship due to the shoaling and will likely lose another before the problem is solved sometime in July.
One ship that was scheduled to dock in the bay and pick up wood chips in February was diverted to Coos Bay, Ore. to get chips from another supplier, according to Crider. The harbor will likely lose another visit before July.
The trouble started last December after a large storm washed sediment down the Eel River and into the ocean. The massive glop then made its way into the middle of the harbor entrance.
After dredging, the harbor usually has a depth of about 48 feet. Last December, before the storm, the depth was 44 feet. It’s now at about 33 to 35 feet, Crider said.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was supposed to dredge the harbor this month, but its dredge got caught up in litigation when it was in drydock in Portland, Ore., Crider said.