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DeFazio Seeks Funding to Repair Coos Bay Jetty and Port Orford Port

Apr 18, 2008
Press Release

April 17, 2008

WASHINGTON, DC- Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Springfield) sent a letter to Rep. David Obey, Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, requesting that he include funding to repair the Coos Bay jetty and the Port of Port Orford in the final FY 2008 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill.

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Springfield) sent a letter to Rep. David Obey, Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, requesting that he include funding to repair the Coos Bay jetty and the Port of Port Orford in the final FY 2008 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill.

"It is imperative that the damage done in Coos Bay and Port Orford be repaired in a timely manner," DeFazio said. "Not only is the damage having a devastating effect on the economy of the Coastal Oregon but, if the jetty and sharing aren’t not fixed soon, they will continue to deteriorate and the price of fixing them will rapidly escalate."

Last December, a powerful storm hit the Oregon coast, bringing with it hurricane-force winds and heavy rains that caused considerable damage to the state. The Port of Coos Bay, which is the largest deep-draft coastal harbor between San Francisco Bay and Puget Sound suffered significant damage to its north jetty. If emergency repairs are not undertaken, the Army Corps of Engineers expects it to breach next winter. Repair of the jetty is essential, as a significant breach would have major impacts on navigation and would prohibit any useful function of the jetty, severely impacting operations at the Port, which is Oregon’s second busiest maritime commerce center. Additionally, the cost to repair the jetty after a breach would cost dramatically more than it would to repair it now.

The Port of Port Orford, which is home to over 60 commercial fishing vessels and another 250 recreational boaters, suffered significant shoaling during the same storm. The harbor has been filled with sand, and as a result, boats have been unable to launch, and commercial fishing has declined by 50 percent. In a community where the economy is heavily dependent on the commercial fishing industry, this has had a devastating financial impact on Port Orford.

The Administration’s emergency supplemental funding request for Fiscal Year 2008 includes $2,800,000 for the Port of Coos Bay to repair its north jetty and $350,000 to repair the shoaling at Port Orford.