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DNR wants public comment on port

he Port of Bremerton commissioners are leaving no stone unturned in their search for funding and feedback on the proposed changes at the Bremerton Harbor Area.

At 6 p.m. Thursday at Kitsap Transit Gateway Conference Center, 2526 Sixth St., the Department of Natural Resources will have a public hearing on its proposal to redraw its boundary lines by 400 feet to accommodate a larger floating dock. The proposed dock will be 25 feet wide and 10 feet deep.

The current dock is only a couple feet deep, Port of Bremerton Commissioner Mary Ann Huntington. Because the dock is shallow, it cannot break the waves caused by larger ships such as the aircraft carriers and the Washington State Ferries. The waves cause the boats at the dock to crash into the dock.

The deeper dock will break those waves, thus causing less damage to the moored boats.

Huntington, who has been on the commission for 15 years, said she is excited about the implications a larger floating dock would have on the community.

The wider dock would be able to accommodate booths for events and would allow for larger ships to moor, both of which would contribute to the tourism economy, she said. In addition, the proposed changes will improve boating access through the Sinclair Inlet.

“We’ll have a lot of guest moorage,” she said.

The overall price tag on the project will be about $18 million. So far, the commission has secured a $955,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife for the project. The commissioners also were in Washington, D.C., last week to talk to Bremerton’s congressional delegation about the project and seek financial support, Huntington said.

Harbor areas can only be used for docks, wharves and other navigation and commerce necessities on the water, said DNR spokesperson Lisa Randlette. While Washington state owns the harbor areas, the DNR’s Division of Aquatic Resources manages them.

Harbor line changes have to be approved by the Board of Natural Resources and the DNR has to recommend the changes. The DNR has to hold a public hearing before the changes can be approved.

The DNR last evaluated the Bremerton Harbor in 1988, according to Randlette. The outer harbor line had to be relocated to accommodated the state ferry terminal and more marina moorage.

“The requested change would add roughly six acres of harbor area,” Randlette said.

For those who cannot attend the meeting, but who want to make comments, can e-mail them to lisa.randlette@wadnr.gov or mail them to Randlette at Washington State DNR, P.O. Box 47027, Olympia, WA 98504.

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