Thumbs up: A clear channel for Petaluma’s river

February 11, 2020

At long last, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has committed to dredging the Petaluma River. The river, once the busiest commercial waterway in the state, is supposed to be dredged every four years to ensure safe passage for barges and other boats. But the channel hasn’t been cleared since 2003. Barge traffic has fallen considerably, and many pleasure boaters have stopped visiting Petaluma because of the risk of running aground at low tide. That’s a double whammy for the local economy. Rep. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, announced Monday that $9.7 million was allocated in the Corps of Engineers’ work plan for 2020 to clear mud and silt from the river, along with $1.3 million for preparatory work for dredging the San Rafael Canal.

“Local economies depend on ‘forgotten harbors,’ like the Petaluma River and San Rafael Canal,” Huffman said in a written statement. “I am thrilled that we will finally be able to address the recreational, commercial and public safety problems that come from delayed dredging.” It’s long past time to put the Petaluma River back to work. Thumbs up.

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Source: Press Democrat