As Liberty Bay becomes more shallow, port requests funds for study

Liberty Bay is becoming more shallow, and the silt deposits causing the transformation were on the minds of port commissioners when the Port of Poulsbo met with the Poulsbo City Council on Wednesday.

Dredging is the likely solution. Port commissioner Jonothan Saunders said a previous dredging permit could possibly be renewed, which would save the port some time. No dredging can be completed until a hydrographic survey completed — in order to better understand the scope of Liberty Bay’s silting-in.

To conduct the hydrographic survey, Saunders proposed the idea of utilizing funds from a joint account held by the port with the city. Before giving the go-ahead, Mayor Becky Erickson requested that the port provide council with a clear outline of what the funds will be used for in the survey.

Also discussed at the meeting was the forthcoming removal of the marina’s creosote breakwater, which is also expected to include expansion of publicly accessible dock space and a more robust seaplane dock.

Port maintenance manager Jared Hofer said the existing dock space does not allow seaplanes to have adequate clearance between pilings. Hofer proposed a revamped seaplane dock similar to the Friday Harbor Seaplane Base.

Erickson commended port staff for their work on the recent waterfront dance. Erickson specifically gave a nod to Jannese Hunt for her work organizing the dance.

Near the close of the meeting, councilor David Musgrove — who serves as council liaison to the port — noted a stark change to the atmosphere at the port.

“We were just talking a couple months ago about how times change,” Musgrove said. “It’s been great to see the changes in the port, different attitudes with different groups, different commissioners, different management. … I think we have some real solid opportunities moving forward.”

— Nick Twietmeyer is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. Nick can be reached at