The Port of Siuslaw has closed the beach areas to the east of the RV Park. The December 2015 storms damaged the shore banks to the south of the RV Park. The area above the banks have been barricaded since January. Steven Leskin, the General Manager of the Port, now believes the bank is sufficiently unsafe to allow guests and visitors down to the river. Says Leskin, “There is significant erosion to the shore bank. This bank will require extensive repairs and renovation to prevent further loss of land. In the interim, we need to close the area. This is a necessary step to protect public safety in this area. The Port will have the beaches open as soon as possible. At this point, it is unknown when that will be.”
The Port has retained a maritime engineer to assist with repairs to the shore-bank. The current plan is to bio engineer a solution. Bio-engineering consists of using natural material, such as vegetation, grasses and logs to repair shore bank instability. It is not harmful to aquatic life, is easier to have permitted by the state, and is considered a permanent solution. The other option would be to place rip rap, i.e., large rocks, along the shore and down into the river. Rip rap is disfavored by state regulators.
The Port is in contact with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA has inspected the eroding shore bank twice since February. FEMA has federal grant money available to repair areas damaged in the December 2015 storms. There is also grant money available to prevent this type of damage from happening in the future.