WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., Chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, on July 21 sent a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers urging the preparation of emergency contingency plans at the Port of Gold Beach, which has been threatened by severe shoaling.
“Shoaling in the navigation channel (at the Port of Gold Beach) threatens … the fundamental way of life in southwestern Oregon” said Rep. DeFazio in the letter. “I am gravely concerned that not dredging the main channel or the marina entrance will create a serious public safety risk at the Port of Gold Beach and endanger the economic benefits the Port brings to the local community. Therefore, I ask you to develop emergency plans to maintain the federal channel and access to the marina with a focus on ensuring mariner safety, port accessibility, and economic development.”
Severe shoaling at the Port of Gold Beach has consistently impacted port operations for the past several years. The level of shoaling this year has caused the Corps to postpone much-needed dredging of the port, which has threatened U.S. Coast Guard seasonal search and rescue deployment at the harbor this summer.
In the letter, DeFazio pushed the Corps to develop contingency plans should the shoaling continue and safe access to the Rogue River and Pacific Ocean is further impeded.
Earlier this summer, DeFazio wrote to the Assistant Secretary of the Army requesting emergency dredging funds for the Port of Gold Beach.