The port’s Marine Terminal is in trouble

March 18th, 2022 by Ken

I’m not into predicting the outcome of any action.  On those rare occasions when I do, I’m usually wrong.  But – I’m going to go ahead and make an effort this time because I think its important.

Weyerhaeuser might want to think about finding another port from which to ship its logs, because I believe that in a decade, the Port of Olympia will have to close its Marine Terminal.

Recent action by the state and local government favoring returning Capitol Lake to an estuary, and removing the dam, which created the lake, will have negative results for the Port of Olympia, as well as for the Olympia Yacht Club.  Removing the dam as part of the restored estuary will mean that tons of dirt will come down the DesChutes River and end up in Budd Inlet, filling it with mud and eventually making it impossible for log carrying ships to dock.  Also being impacted is the Olympia Yacht Club which will also be significantly affected.

The dam has been acting as a barrier, keeping the dirt and other debris churned up from the river, from running into the inlet.  The lake has been slowly filling up because of that.   Removing the dam will allow all of that river silt to make its way into the harbor.  It will also sweep much of the mud which now sits in the lake to flow out as well.

I’m not certain how much and how quickly the harbor will fill up, but it will fill up.  The only that can be done is to dredge the harbor on a regular basis and the Federal government is reluctant to grant dredging permits.

For more than two decades, several sides and several views have been fighting over the future of Capitol Lake.  It appears now that the decision has been made and  will become reality as soon as all documents have been signed.

I have been in favor of closing the Marine Terminal at the port for several years.  This upcoming decision to restore the estuary is the right move.  However the consequences of that action will have repercussions for decades and the taxpayers will pay for all of the trouble.

Posted in Business, Government, Informational, Local Politics, The Real News

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