StoryThe U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today released its Work Plan for Fiscal Year 2014 and it includes good news for North Lake Washington. The Corps’ Work Plan includes $440,000 to help continue progress, including important environmental assessments, on the City of Kenmore’s project to conduct maintenance dredging of the North Lake Washington Navigation Channel.
“I want to thank Congresswoman DelBene, Senators Murray and Cantwell, and Kenmore Mayor David Baker for their tireless efforts to include this important project on the Corps of Engineers’ work plan. This is an example of how we can have a positive impact for our economy by working together,” said Metropolitan King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski. “I appreciate the Corps’ inclusion of this project in their work plan and look forward to supporting its efforts to keep commerce moving in an environmentally responsible manner.”
Dembowski included the request on King County’s federal lobbying agenda, met with congressional leaders in January in Washington, D.C. to advocate for the project, and also wrote to the Army Corps of Engineers last month to express King County’s support.
“We are very pleased with this news,” said Kenmore Mayor David Baker. “Congresswoman DelBene has championed this proposal from the start, and Senator Murray and Senator Cantwell have worked effectively to make sure small harbors that are so vital for local economies are funded in the Corps budget. King County officials, particularly Councilmember Rod Dembowski, also made the case for this project.”
The North Lake Washington Navigation Channel is a critical conduit for commerce for North King County and the regional economy. A safe navigation channel is essential for businesses like Kenmore Air and CalPortland’s ready-mix plant at Kenmore. The Navigation Channel is long overdue for maintenance. It has been 17 years since the last dredging occurred. The barging operations of several local water-dependent businesses are being adversely affected by the diminished lake depth due to sediment deposition. Without maintenance by the USACE, hazards to navigation will increase.