Innovative Dredging and Sediment Disposal Benefit Lower Columbia River Community

Author: James Maul, RG, LG Published: May 4, 2018

Like many small, rural communities, Cathlamet, Washington, is transitioning from dependence upon commercial fishing and timber jobs to new methods of economic development, in part relying on a healthy tourism industry to keep the town’s economy thriving.

Integral to the Cathlamet tourist industry is the Wahkiakum Port District. Located on a beautiful stretch of the lower Columbia river, it is the perfect spot for boaters to drop anchor in the Elochoman Marina and enjoy an afternoon exploring the town or using it as the base for fishing or other adventures on the Columbia.

To continue providing boaters with a great experience, the Port District needed to perform maintenance dredging to remove naturally occurring sediment that had accumulated in the Elochoman Channel and Marina and then find a cost-effective way to dispose of the dredged sediment. At the same time, Cathlamet wanted to reclaim former sewage lagoons on prime waterfront property and restore them to a productive use.

Watch the video below to learn how MFA created synergy between the two projects, resulting in a positive outcome for both the City and the Port District and exemplifying the great potential of using industrial land reclamation to benefit a community.