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Kingston port delves into dredging

The Port of Kingston boat launch, taken earlier this year at low tide. The increase in silt has caused problems for boaters, and the port is asking for a dredge permit.     - Contributed
The Port of Kingston boat launch, taken earlier this year at low tide. The increase in silt has caused problems for boaters, and the port is asking for a dredge permit.
— image credit: Contributed

KINGSTON — So far, so good for the Port of Kingston’s maintenance dredge application. The port met with several agencies at the end of July as a “pre-application” meeting, Port Manager Kori Henry said.

“It went really, really well,” Henry said.

The port completed and turned in an engineering survey, and is currently conducting an eelgrass survey before the next meeting can be scheduled. If there is eelgrass in the area needing to be dredged, mitigation may be required, Henry said.

The port is applying for permits to perform a maintenance dredge to remove extra silt that is causing problems at low tide. There are many reasons this dredge is needed, and it is a long time coming, Henry said.

The Carpenter Creek bridge project opened up the estuary that flows into Appletree Cove, which “accelerated” the need for a dredge, but did not cause it.

The port applied to dredge in 2002, which was denied. The cove has not been touched since it was originally dredged in 1967, besides a small excavation for the boat launch in 1992.

In the last few months, six boats have grounded at low tide, including a few Suquamish fishing boats, at the ends of A, B and C docks.

The port will apply for a county shoreline conditional use permit, Army Corps of Engineers nationwide 10 permit, Department of Fish and Wildlife hydraulic permit, and Department of Ecology sedimentation/water quality permit. The port is meeting with these agencies and the Suquamish Tribe Department of Natural Resources, for its applications.

Henry said there is a part of the federal navigation channel just outside the marina that has also been affected, but dredging of that area is the responsibility of the Corps of Engineers.

Spokesman Bill Dowell said regulatory branch officials have not received the dredging application yet, but have been in communication with the port.

“[The dredge site] appears to fit the condition of a nationwide permit, to cover a maintenance dredge of the marina base,” Dowell said.

If timelines are adhered to, Henry said the port may have their necessary permits by December, and may be dredging by January. She said the “fish window” closes the port’s dredging opportunity in February, when salmon and bull trout are spawning and migrating.

The port does not have cost estimates yet, but preliminary estimates in the port budget is around $450,000, Henry said.

 

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