Port Hadlock Marina to improve dock

Lily Haight lhaight@ptleader.com
Posted 9/5/18

The Port Hadlock Marina is looking to update the current wood and concrete floating dock and timber pilings with a new concrete and fiberglass floating dock and galvanized steel pilings, in an effort …

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Port Hadlock Marina to improve dock

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The Port Hadlock Marina is looking to update the current wood and concrete floating dock and timber pilings with a new concrete and fiberglass floating dock and galvanized steel pilings, in an effort to create a more streamlined dock with a smaller environmental footprint. 

The Jefferson County Department of Community Development released a notice Aug. 29 of the marina’s application for a shoreline exemption with the Washington State Environmental Protection Agency to remove and replace the old dock with the new one. 

The application, which was submitted by Port Hadlock Marina owner Bob Wise, intends to “remove and dispose of existing 31,744 square foot floating wood and concrete dock system with foam log flotation and creosote treated timber pilings,” and to replace the old system with a “floating dock system with 50 percent pre-stressed concrete decking and 50 percent fiberglass grating with a 69 percent open area and polyethylene foam filled tub flotation secured by galvanized steel pilings.” 

Wise and his wife, Lisa, owners of the marina management company, Marsh Anderson, bought the Port Hadlock Marina roughly seven years ago, after it had been damaged in a windstorm. Their goal now is to completely renovate the marina as they did with another one of their properties, Eagle Harbor Marina on Bainbridge Island. 

“We’re going to put literally the best marina in the Puget Sound in Port Hadlock,” Bob Wise said. He added they have already replaced the breakwall at Port Hadlock and boast a state-of-the-art pump out system that allows boats to pump out waste individually from their slip. The updates are intended to start in January 2019. If the plans are approved by the state, it will prevent further deterioration and make important environmental updates.

“It’s not dilapidated now,” Bob Wise said of the marina, which dates back to the 1980s. “We’re just being very proactive in making sure that the marina doesn’t deteriorate further.”

The materials used to build the new floats for the new dock, as well as the steel pilings replacing the creosote pilings, will not break up over time in the water, he said, explaining current float materials contain styrofoam, which deteriorates and then goes into the Puget Sound as a microplastic. The floats will also feature grating, so light can reach fish in the water. Wise also aims to educate boaters about being cleaner. 

“Dealing with blackwater (waste) is part of being a cleaner marina,” he said. “It’s an important part of our plan for our boaters to be personally responsible for their waste.”

According to Wise, Marsh Anderson will spend more than $5 million on the rebuild of the dock and complete it in three phases, taking approximately three years. For him, the investment will be worthwhile when it ends in a more green, clean, up-to-date marina for boaters. Wise lamented that many public port districts on the Peninsula do not have the funds for similar renovations. 

“A lot of public port districts are struggling,” he said. “They have not kept a capital reserve to replace their aging properties.”

Earlier this year, the Port of Port Townsend rejected all bids to replace the breakwall at Point Hudson, which dates back to 1934, and could have further deterioration in the case of a strong storm. Meanwhile, in Sequim, the John Wayne Port caused controversy in April when Port of Port Angeles commissioners proposed privatizing the port. 

While he isn’t naming any names, Wise mentioned that his company, which currently owns Port Hadlock Marina, Eagle Harbor Marina and Home Port Marina in Brinnon, is “in expansion mode” and looking to buy other marinas. 

As for the pending SEPA review of environmental impact, the application will be reviewed at the Jefferson County Department of Community Development, and anyone interested can submit comments to the Jefferson County Department of Community Development, Development Review Division, 621 Sheridan St., Port Townsend, WA 98368, 360-379-4450. All comments should be submitted to the department by 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 12. 

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