Monday, June 2, 2014

Oregon's Coastal Port Districts

About half of Oregon’s 22 port districts received good news recently when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers budgeted money for dredging to maintain their ocean access. The Corps plans to spend nearly $15 million to dredge the federal navigation channels used by Oregon’s small coastal ports.

Oregon’s port districts are local government units, similar to cities, fire districts, and water districts. Their elected commissioners generally work to promote economic development and provide air and water transportation infrastructure. Commercial and recreational fishers are principal users of coastal ports and depend on dredged channels to safely access the ocean.

Although port districts don’t employ large numbers of people directly, they provide facilities that support employment in private businesses, especially in Oregon’s four major fishing ports: Astoria, Coos Bay, Brookings, and Newport. These four ports handled nearly 90 percent of Oregon commercial fish landings by value. 

This article was written by regional economist Erik Knoder. More regional information can be found on

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