Replacing the Chelsea Rose, Waiting for Grants for the Int’l Terminal Project and Coordinating NOAA Dock Dredging
Shopping for fresh fish on the bayfront has always been a big treat for locals and tourists alike, buying fresh-caught tuna, salmon, crab – you name it – from the folks that run the F/V Chelsea Rose.
But that’s likely to change here in few months. The owner of the Chelsea Rose, who has sold fresh fish to the public for many years on the Bayfront says the old boat is in danger of sinking – simply due to old age.
So, the owner and the Port have gotten together in an effort to quietly retire the old fishing boat and replace it with something that is attractive to the fish-buying public while not making it look like a store. Port officials don’t want that. But they do want the Chelsea Rose function to remain and so does its captain.
The captain says they’re planning to salvage certain aspects of the old boat and add them to something like a floating fish sales station. Not a boat. Not a store. Something in-between. The captain says the Port of Toledo is designing something that should pass muster rather soon.
Odds are that they’ll have a winning design for the fish sales station, built and ready to continue its saga for having the freshest fish in town – but no date has been set yet for the big unveiling!
Port still after federal grant money to finish the Int’l Terminal
The Port of Newport is still hot after some federal grant money to enable it to finish the International Terminal just across the river. Port officials say they’re finishing up their application to the federal Economic Development Administration to round out what’s required to finish the terminal and to turn it into a money maker for the port and thereby an economic boost for the Newport region. Between the grants and a loan the port is poised to take out, it should have the $6 million required to finish the project which has been hanging fire for quite a few years.
Moving ahead with efforts to dredge a bigger area around the NOAA docks
And the Port is also seeking permission to dredge up a lot of unexpected sediment that is infilling areas in and around the NOAA docks at South Beach. Although the port was assured that dredging wouldn’t be a frequent need for the new Pacific Headquarters for NOAA’s oceanographic fleet, the opposite wound up to be true – it may need frequent dredging – and cover a wider area of river bottom.
This latest development has caught the attention of ORCA, the Oregon Coast Alliance which is a rather potent environmental protection group dedicated to protecting the coast and it’s estuaries and wildlife. ORCA Executive Director Cameron La Follette wrote to the port that the expansion of the dredge area along the bottom has not been properly reviewed or evaluated as to it’s probable effects on fish life, especially as it relates to the Federal Endangered Species Act which covers three marine species in Yaquina Bay.
La Follette goes on to request that “the Port remain vigilant in overall efforts to maintain Yaquina Bay’s ecology in a robust state and to meet the needs for cumulative impacts analysis as projects change.”
It’s common that when an agency environmentally changes or degrades a project area the agency can make up for the loss by helping to reclaim some other area, preferably nearby, for the species affected. The Port has already been mitigating such areas, not the least of which has been the long-running and quite laborious planting of eel grass in the bay and restoring historic wetlands, especially along the south banks of the Yaquina River near the Hatfield Marine Science Center.
No doubt there will be more discussions to follow.