Wyden Seeks Release of Funds For Jetty Work on Oregon Coast
Garibaldi, Or – Standing on the North Jetty at Tillamook Bay, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden on Tuesday called for the release of billions of dollars in the federal Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund to pay for badly needed work on other jetties along the Oregon coast.
“Jetties are not just piles of rocks in the ocean,” Wyden said. “They are keys to commercial shipping, commercial fishing, recreational fishing, navigation and safety. Without them, there would be no coastal economy.”
A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study found that the 18 Oregon ports generate $94.3 million in sales, $35.9 million in income and 1,542 jobs. In the last decade, the federal government has spent $55 million on the repair and maintenance of jetties from the Chetco River in Brookings to the Columbia River at Warrenton. Repairs to the North Jetty at Tillamook Bay, which will be completed next month, cost $18 million. More than $12 million of that came from the federal economic recovery act.
Wyden joined representatives from local port districts, the Army Corps of Engineers, jetty contractors Kiewit Northwest, Pacific Northwest Waterways Association and fishermen as a crane placed massive boulders weighing up to 40 tons at the end of the 5,000-foot jetty.
The Army Corps of Engineers estimates there is $1.2 billion in work that needs to be done on Oregon’s coastal jetties. There is approximately $5 billion sitting unallocated in the federal Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund
“What I want to do is make sure that money is used for what it was intended – maintenance and operation of federal harbors and ports,” Wyden said. “That’s why I am a cosponsor of legislation that would require these funds to be spent on projects exactly like the jetties here in Tillamook.”
(Sen. Wyden joins local officials, contractors and representatives of the Army Corps of Engineers and Pacific NW Waterways Assoc. at the end of the North Jetty at Tillamook Bay.)