The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Delays close window for Island sand spoils


Eroding shorelines on Puget Island's East Sunny Sands won't receive any dredge sand this year, the US Army Corps of Engineers announced Monday.

And neither will the site inside the East Sunny Sands dike road on the Philip Vik Farm.

In a June 5 letter to the Wahkiakum County Board of Commissioners, Kevin Brice, deputy district engineer for project management, explained that county delays in permitting and obtaining right-of-entry easements from landowners along the beach pushed the projects beyond the window for organizing them for this year.

Instead, dredging crews will pump the sand to the James River Site in Oregon.

"This does not preclude Pancake Point (East Sunny Sands) placement in future years nor placement at the other three sites (Cape Horn, Welcome Slough and Ostervold Road) this year if all items are completed," Brice said in the letter.

The county has three tasks to address:

1. Obtaining right-of-entry easements to allow dredging crews to work along the shoreline. Commissioner Mike Backman said only two remained unsigned for Sunny Sands and he planned to visit the landowners yesterday (Wednesday).

2. The county needs to complete regulatory permitting, including doing an archeological survey and acting on a shoreline permit application from the coalition of upriver ports, who conduct Columbia River dredging and who need the permit to access the Vik site, which was planned and permitted years ago.

The county planning commission had sent the permit to county commission with a recommendation to approve it, but after much discussion in three meetings, the planners asked that the permit be returned for further consideration.

3. The county must conduct a Section 408 Determination, which attempts to analyze the impact of one shoreline project on downstream properties, in this case, the channel for the county ferry Oscar B.

"The county planning department will be receiving a separate letter from our office outlining, with specificity, what areas are likely to require 408 review and what information may be required for that review," Brice said.


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