Following a presentation from Pacific Power representatives Tuesday, Crescent City Harbor commissioners will weigh in on efforts to remove four dams on the Klamath River.

Monte Mendenhall, Pacific Power’s business manager and Bob Gravely, the utility’s public information officer, will speak on the status of the dam removal process. Harbor commissioners will then vote on a letter of support for the project to the State Water Resources Control Board.

The State Water Resources Control Board is currently collecting public input on a draft environmental impact report that addresses, among other things, the level of sediment that will be released into the river after the J.C. Boyle, Copco No. 1 and Iron Gate dams are removed.

The draft EIR is in response to the Klamath River Renewal Corporation’s request for a final Clean Water Act Section 401 permit for the removal of the Copco No. 1 and No. 2 and Iron Gate dams.

“The beneficial results of the dam removal project include positively affecting the water quality of the Klamath River and by doing so, taking an historic step toward restoring traditional salmon runs,” according to the harbor district’s proposed letter. “Dam removal is crucial to restoring the natural ecosystem that existed before construction of the dams.”

The Crescent City Harbor District’s proposed letter comes after Commissioners James Ramsey and Rick Shepherd along with harbor staff and commercial fisherman George Bradshaw on Jan. 24 sat through an overview of the project from KRRC Community Liaison Dave Meurer and Glen Spain, northwest regional director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations.

During their presentation, Meurer and Spain sought to allay concerns about potential impacts to the harbor from sediment behind the dams, noting the draft EIR predicts about 5-9 million cubic yards of sediment is expected to travel downstream after they’re removed.

Much of that material is expected to settle on the riverbank and revegetate it following dam removal, according to Meurer. An estimated 85 percent is expected to consist of fine silt and clay, while 15 percent is expected to be sand and gravel. Meurer pointed to a section in the draft EIR stating the material is much less than what the Klamath transports during a wet year and greater than is transported during a dry year.

Very little to no sediment is expected to wind up in the harbor, Spain said during the presentation.

Also on Tuesday’s agenda, Crescent City Harbor commissioners will revisit a discussion about the port’s strategic plan, potentially creating an ad-hoc committee to discuss a permanent color palette for a “Harbor Vision & Design Guidelines” booklet for its tenants.

The ad-hoc committee would also address placement and content of informational signs located in various areas of the harbor pointing the way to businesses and services. The committee will also contact Crescent City staff about its directional signs.

Crescent City Harbor board meets at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at 101 Citizens Dock Road, Crescent City. For more information or to view an agenda, visit www.ccharbor.com.

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