Time to Make Views Known on Sedimentby Staff
The Daily Astorian, March 15, 2012
Crab, navigation and beach issues in the spotlight
You wouldn't yet know from looking at most local beaches, but we're in a sediment drought. Between dams and other manmade changes, not enough fine sand is naturally coming out the mouth of the Columbia to maintain the historic shorelines north and south.
Millions of cubic yards of potential beach material is removed from the system each year in the form of dredge spoils that are dumped in deep ocean waters or pumped onto upland sites like Rice Island.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is making an effort to respond to this issue - or at least to be perceived as responding. A meeting on the subject is planned from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. March 22 in the Port of Astoria council chambers, 422 Gateway Ave. The Corps is looking at three potential sites near the mouth of the Columbia where sediments might be dumped close enough to beaches in order for currents to carry them ashore.
This raises a host of issues, including potential Dungeness crab mortality and problems with undersea mounding that creates navigation hazards at current offshore disposal locations. There is some indication that the near-shore site that might help recharge Clatsop Beach isn't seriously in the running for large-scale use.
All this will merit close local examination and input. Plan to attend the March 22 meeting if these issues affect you. The Corps' draft environmental assessment is available at tinyurl.com/79q8h69
Grant Given for Water Research, Sediment by Megan Vigus, The Daily Evergreen, 9/24/4
Snake River Sediment Buildup Slows by Associated Press, Capital Press, 10/20/8
Corps Gets Earful about Snake River Sediment Problems by Associated Press, The Columbian, 2/16/7
Sediment Considerations Idaho Fish & Game, Idaho's Fish: Status & Recovery
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