October 27, 2015
Source: Curry Coastal Pilot
The Port of Brookings Harbor is the operator of a new dredge purchased by the state of Oregon to serve south coast ports from Reedsport to Brookings.
Brookings port officials spearheaded the effort to purchase the dredge and the state selected the port to oversee its operation along the coast, said Port Manager Ted Fitzgerald.
The dredge, an Ellicott 360 Swinging Dragon, is in Bandon this week, dredging 40,000 cubic yards of debris at the port.
A new dredge will be used to remove debris such as silt, rocks and slime that collect in the harbor, material that often makes it difficult for boats to navigate the boat basins.
Debris collected by the new dredge at the Brookings port will be deposited at an EPA site located about 2 miles offshore.
“The state of Oregon went out for a bid and bought a dredge,” said Fitzgerald. “The South Coast Ports Coalition, which includes all ports from Reedsport to Brookings, began proposing the idea of a dredge to the Oregon Coastal Caucus.”
Brookings port employees have received training and, for the time being, Brookings will be the only operator. Eventually, Fitzgerald said, the Port of Coos Bay will train employees on the dredge as well.
“Most of the other ports don’t have the staffing capabilities,” Fitzgerald said, “And we already had some experience.”
Fitzgerald added that according to the Army Corps of Engineers, ports are only allowed to dredge from October to February. Typically, he said, this is a slow season for recreational ports.
“The idea is that we can take some of our employees and train them on the dredge, during a time when we normally had to lay people off,” Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald added that when the dredge is not in use, he hopes to move it out of the water to store it, preferably at a location near its next job. Details of where the dredge will be stored, he said, are still in the works.