Officials at the Port of Newport say work has progressed nicely at the eel grass mitigation area, a project taken over by Natt McDougal Contracting. The first effort at making up for the loss of eel grass (prime fish habitat) to recent port projects, didn’t take as well as required. So they’re changing their technique a bit.
The south and east gravel bench elevation is being lowered to enhance the growth of eel grass. Workers are using a tracked mobile crane with a Toyo hydraulic suction pump system. The arrangement’s main advantage is its ability to minimize turbidity and the ease of material transport to the upland disposal site. At the time of this report, a barge and back hoe are working at the eastern beach area, which is beyond the mobile crane’s reach.The project should be completed the week of January 12th. It will take months before the beach has stabilized prior to this summer’s anticipated eel grass replanting.