The Port of Everett Commission in Washington State has authorised port staff to solicit public works bids to complete necessary maintenance dredging at the Jetty Landing Boat Launch located at 10th Street and West Marine View Drive in Everett.
The commission expects the work to take place in early winter through early 2022 to remove up to 41,000 cubic yards (31,346 cubic metres) of river sediment that has settled in the launch basin and is greatly impacting facility use at low tide.
This action follows the port’s coordination with the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) seeking emergency authorisation to expand its dredging authorisation beyond the launch footprint to mitigate a growing sandbar that has formed in the river limiting access between the high-use public facility and the Snohomish River Navigation Channel to the west. If granted, the port could dredge an additional 8,000 cubic yards (6,116 cubic metres) to create a connector channel through the sandbar.
The facility, jointly owned by the Port of Everett, the City of Everett, and Snohomish County, represents Washington State’s largest boat launch with 13 lanes and accommodates more than 30,000 launches per year. Many rely on the launch to access the Snohomish River, Port Gardner Bay and beyond, ranging from recreational and commercial boaters to Department of Defense operations, emergency responders, and local tribal partners who use the facility to access their usual and accustomed fishing rights areas.
Given its unique location on an active river channel, the launch must be dredged periodically to maintain navigable depths. This need has increased exponentially in recent years as extreme weather events and historical shifts in Snohomish River flow have caused major increases in siltation at and around the launch.
The sandbar that has formed just outside of the launch is not an area owned or maintained by the port or the USACE, and as it has grown, it is creating havoc for boaters who often times launch with no issue, but then get stuck.
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