Astoria port’s woes stymie dredging effort

| Print |  Email
Archives - March 2007
Thursday, March 01, 2007
astoria.jpg

ASTORIA — Plagued by political infighting and legal woes, the Port of Astoria has fired its executive director, Peter Gearin, and continues to face what has become a very public debate over how the port is operated.

Leading the list of troubles are permitting issues that have prevented dredging in some parts of the port for the last three years, which could have a serious impact on business.

The agency, which has an annual budget of about $3.5 million, oversees the Astoria-area airport, cruise ship terminals, marinas and boatyards — and the 175,000 cubic feet of sediment deposited each year in the harbor by the ever-competing forces of the Pacific Ocean and the Columbia River.

Some of that material is tainted with DDT and other chemicals. A bungled 2004 dredging operation to remove some of that contaminated material left the port saddled with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of legal bills and a still-unresolved federal investigation.

Permits to dredge more polluted soil come from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, with input by the National Marine Fisheries Service. And while one has been issued (and the port was able to dredge its cruise ship docks), disagreement between the port and agencies over pollution levels in some areas has prevented all required dredging.

Over time, the silt gets deeper. At low tide, docks used by sardine boats and the entry to the boat yard haul-out are too shallow to use.

Port officials could not estimate when boats would be fully blocked from those areas. When it happens, three fish processing plants — which employ more than 250 people — will sit idle. The haul-out, which the port relies on for revenue, will be unusable.

Port and fisheries service officials are working on resolving the disagreement, but no one will guess how long that could take.

— Abraham Hyatt


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Photo Diary: Forest Grove Farmers Market

The Latest
Thursday, May 14, 2015
IMG 8469BY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

There are more than 160 farmers markets in Oregon, contributing an estimated $50 million in sales, according to the Oregon Farmers Markets Association. We checked in on the Forest Grove market, which for several years has brought local produce and food vendors to Main Street in the center of town.


Read more...

Nine lives

Linda Baker
Friday, May 22, 2015
0f4f7bfBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Roy Kaufmann always lands on his feet.


Read more...

Footloose

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Founded 12 years ago, Keen Inc. likes to push the envelope, starting with the debut of the “Newport” closed toe sandal in 2003. Since then, the company has opened a factory on Swan Island and a sleek new headquarters in the Pearl District. The brand’s newest offering, UNEEK, is a sandal made from two woven cords and not much more.


Read more...

Foundations perspective

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Martha Richards, executive director of the James F. & Marion L. Miller Foundation.


Read more...

The ancient fish that stops bullets

The Latest
Friday, May 08, 2015
hagfishthumbBY CHRIS NOBLE | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Hagfish may not have evolved much over the last 300 million years, but their protein-heavy slime promises advances in super-materials.


Read more...

Can small be large?

Linda Baker
Wednesday, April 01, 2015
040115-lindablogthumbBY LINDA BAKER

Leaders in Oregon's ag sector gathered this morning in Portland’s Coopers Hall winery/taproom to discuss the role of the region as an export gateway, impediments to exporting products and solutions to containerized shipping challenges.


Read more...

Oregon businesses face destruction from future earthquake

The Latest
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
htctthumb1BY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

An earthquake would completely destroy many Oregon businesses, highlighting the urgent need for the private and public sectors to collaborate on shoring up disaster preparedness, said panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast summit today.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS