WASHINGTON, D.C. Last Friday, April 5, U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler asked the U.S. Coast Guard to reconsider its decision to remove the Bay Center Channel navigational buoys.
She also communicated the strong public opposition to the move her office has received, pointing out that the agency did make adequate efforts to solicit community input.
Last week, the Observer reported the buoys had been removed after a sketchy public-notification process.
This is the letter Herrera sent to Coast Guard 13th District Commander Rear Adm. Keith A Taylor:
I am writing on behalf of the Port of Willapa Harbor and the commercial fishing community that uses the Bay Center Channel in Willapa Bay. They have contacted my office with their strong concerns due to the recent removal of the navigation buoys for the channel by the U.S. Coast Guard. To the oystermen and commercial fishermen who use this channel, the markers are essential to their safe navigation during high tides. Although no public comment was received by the agency on the Local Notice to Mariners, I have been assured that you would have received many comments in opposition to this action if the notice had been published in a local publication.
It is my hope you will reconsider this decision, and that the navigation buoys will be re-established in the channel. I will appreciate your reviewing this matter and notifying my office of any available options to address their concerns.