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

Elochoman marina to receive non-motorized boat assessment

 

August 24, 2017



The Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership (Estuary Partnership), Wahkiakum Port District 1, and Columbia River Kayaking are spearheading a project at the Elochoman Slough Marina to investigate opportunities to improve non-motorized boat access.

The Elochoman Slough Marina is a key site on the Lower Columbia River Water Trail and a popular spot for paddlers to launch and land. Improving non-motorized boat access at the marina will lessen crowding and conflicts at the existing boat launch, create safer launching conditions, generate a better experience for paddlers, and promote the Elochoman Slough Marina as a paddling destination.

Landscape architecture firm Shapiro Didway will formally evaluate possible launch locations, and develop a final conceptual design and preliminary cost estimate for one site. The assessment will also be used as a case study in a national publication called the River Access Planning Framework, which will help other communities design non-motorized boat facilities.

Elochoman Slough Marina Manager Jackie Lea called the project, “a great opportunity to see what we can do to improve non-motorized boat access and decrease pressure on the boat ramp. We know that paddlers are a growing segment of the boating population--it would be great to provide them with an enhanced experience.”

Chris Hathaway, Estuary Partnership Deputy Director, added, “The lower Columbia River is a huge resource for non-motorized boating and the marina and Cathlamet are a key access point to the Lower Columbia River Water Trail. The marina and town provide all the services paddlers need. Enhancing their ability to put-in and take-out is a logical next step.”

Columbia River Kayaking Co-Owner Andrew Emlen said, “It will be nice for users of non-motorized boats to have our own safer, quieter place to put in, and I’m sure all boaters will appreciate the reduced competition for ramp space during the times when the marina is busy.”

Funding for the assessment is provided by the Estuary Partnership and the National Park Service Rivers Trails and Conservation Assistance Program. No funding is currently available to build a non-motorized boat launch, but the assessment is an important precursor to seeking additional funding.

 

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