Army Corps of Engineers: Keep the Port in Port Orford!
  • Petitioned Colonel John W. Eisenhauer

This petition was delivered to:

Army Corps of Engineers District Commander
Colonel John W. Eisenhauer
Oregon Governor
President of the United States
U.S. Senate
U.S. House of Representatives

Army Corps of Engineers: Keep the Port in Port Orford!

    1. Port Orford Fisherman
    2. Petition by

      Port Orford Fisherman

      Port Orford, OR

The small fishing town of Port Orford, located on the rugged and scenic south coast of Oregon, is in danger of losing access to the sea, and a way of life that has been around for generations. Over half of our local economy is dependent on a 40-vessel commercial fishing fleet. Without our local fishing businesses, there is no future for Port Orford.

Our harbor is exposed to the Pacific storms that bring large surf to our coast. Our boats are kept on a dry dock and a crane is used to lift them in and out of the water. This means that the dockside channel must be maintained in order for boats to be launched from and returned to the dock.

The Army Corp of Engineers has a mission to “maintain safe and reliable channels, harbors and waterways for the transportation of commerce, support to national security and recreation.” – Army Corp of Engineers website, 2012.

The Army Corps of Engineers built a breakwater in 1969 to help protect our dock from strong Pacific storms. But building the breakwater had the unintended consequence of causing our harbor to fill with sand. In 1970, the Corps received an emergency authorization to dredge the excess sand from our harbor to provide safe boat navigation.

Since that time, the Army Corp of Engineers has returned each year to maintain the navigation channel and keep Port Orford fishing. The last time the Corps dredged the harbor was in 2010. The harbor was not dredged in 2011, and there are no plans for it to be dredged this year, or next.

The Port Orford harbor is now full of sand (see above photo), and provides very limited access to the sea. The problem has rapidly gotten worse, and it is only possible to launch and return during high tides. The need to go fishing leaves us with no choice but to go to sea during unsafe conditions at the dock. Even moderate swells create extremely hazardous conditions during this already tricky procedure.

Our town is facing an economic catastrophe. If we can’t launch our fishing boats, we can’t make a living. Our businesses are already suffering. Soon, fishermen will be forced to leave to fish elsewhere in order to stay in business.

We need to bring our problem to the attention of the Army Corp of Engineers, and our US Senators and Congressman so that we can get our harbor dredged this summer and keep our fishing tradition alive.

Please join us to keep the Port in Port Orford - save our way of life and our town!


Recent signatures


    1. "Let's Get Dredged!" Rally & letter from Oregon Congressional delegation

      Port Orford Fisherman
      Petition Organizer

      Please share this short film of our July 4th "Let's Get Dredged!" Rally. The rally was a huge success, and we won first place for our shovel-dancing contingent in the parade!

      Your support led to this letter from Oregon's congressional delegation to Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, Jo-ellen Darcy, urging her to secure funding to dredge Port Orford.

      Assistant Secretary Darcy is now considering dredging Port Orford.
      We are closer than ever to our goal!

      Contact Ms. Darcy now to let her know how important it is to dredge Port Orford this summer.

      We need to dredge Port Orford this summer;
      1. To keep our fishermen safe.
      2. To keep our harbor working.
      3. To build a new marine economy based on sustainable fishing and marine research.

      Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works)
      108 Army Pentagon, Room 3E446
      Washington, DC 20310-0108

      Citizens to Keep the Port in Port Orford

    2. Reached 750 signatures
    3. Please share this short film.

      Port Orford Fisherman
      Petition Organizer

      Congratulations! We have gathered over 550 signatures! Please share this short film with your friends and family to help bring attention to our cause. We have learned that a dredging vessel will be in our area this summer, and that this vessel could be directed to Port Orford to dredge our harbor and keep us in business. The cost of this operation would be far less because the vessel will already be mobilized for the dredging job at Brookings Harbor. Now, we just need to convince Congress and the President to make the funds available. Please take a minute to call or write your congressmen and the White House, and ask them to release the funds needed to dredge Port Orford. Thank you for your support!

    4. Reached 500 signatures
    5. We've already gathered 400 signatures!

      Port Orford Fisherman
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you for your support! In less than 5 days, we have gathered 400 signatures for our petition! At this rate, we'll reach our goal of 1,300 (one for every resident in Port Orford ) in no time! Please help us reach our goal by forwarding the petition to your friends and family and asking them to sign. Thanks again for your support! Let's keep the port in Port Orford!

    6. Reached 250 signatures
    7. Port Orford is a leader in ocean stewardship

      Port Orford Fisherman
      Petition Organizer

      Port Orford is featured in the full length documentary, Ocean Frontiers, produced by Green Fire Productions, and now premiering across the US. Follow the link to watch a segment of the film which focuses on the fishing community of Port Orford, and if you haven't already done so, please sign our petition to the Army Corp of Engineers to have our harbor dredged so we can keep fishing!

    8. Reached 5 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • James Miller SUTHERLIN, OR
      • about 2 years ago

      ACE, maintain your mission! You haven't been here to maintain since 2010!

    • David McEnulty SAN FRANCISCO, CA
      • about 2 years ago

      Because it is a fishing town. Fishermen should be able to fish.

    • Mary Miller REDMOND, WA
      • about 2 years ago

      I went to school in this area. Many fishermen are my friends or children of my friends.

    • Jesse Weiss YELM, WA
      • about 2 years ago

      My dad lived and died there, its a poor community if the port is closed, it will ruin lives and crush stability in the area. Leave the port alone

    • Jim Wegener BROOKINGS, OR
      • about 2 years ago

      I love Port Orford and am moving there. The port is the heart. It is not only an industry, but also a tourist attraction. I have met some of the fishers and eat their catch. This fleet uses sustainable fishing practices. We need to save this tradition.


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