NAHCOTTA and ILWACO - The Community Economic Revitalization Board conditionally approved two projects totaling $675,000 in public economic development infrastructure improvements to retain existing jobs and create future new jobs in Pacific County recently.

The Port of Peninsula was conditionally approved a $325,000 loan and $100,000 grant to assist with the costs of dredging the Nahcotta Mooring Basin to a depth of minus 10 feet.

The mooring basin dredge is required to retain the operations of seafood industries that utilize the Port of Peninsula Willapa Bay mooring basin, where operations are stopped during periods of low tide due to accumulated silting conditions. Seafood industries using the Nahcotta Mooring Basin include oyster, clam, crab and salmon industry operations.

Specifically, Coast Seafood, Taylor Resources and Wiegardt Brothers, oyster and clam producers and processors, will retain 218 existing full-time jobs and create an estimated nine new future jobs. These three businesses employ 36 percent of the 600 direct and indirect jobs in the Pacific County oyster and clam industries.

All seafood industries, including 17 other smaller businesses operating at the Port of Peninsula, depend upon the Nahcotta Moorage Basin for operations and employment, and cannot continue to operate with the mooring basin conditions as they are.

"The CERB financing terms will allow the Port of Peninsula to utilize port reserves to construct a wave break barrier that will capture sand and silt before it enters and is trapped in our boat basin," said Howard Teague, Port of Peninsula manager.

CERB funds are matched with $135,964 of port funds.

The Port of Ilwaco was conditionally approved a $100,000 loan and $150,000 grant to purchase a pile driver to reconstruct the port's F and G docks in support of tourism industry development, which are dedicated to tourist or visitor boats such as sports fishermen. An estimated 10 new jobs will be created by the dock area tourism industry businesses.

CERB funds are matched with $96,433 of port funds, and possibly an additional $98,354 in port funds if a pending federal application for project costs is not approved.

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