Corps of Engineers Dike Repairs Will Protect 800-year-old Fishing Village

Repairs to the Quillayute Sea dike protecting the Quileute Tribe’s 800-year-old fishing village, will begin this fall.

The $5.7 million U.S. Army Corps of Engineers repair project will protect the La Push community within the Quileute Indian Tribe’s reservation land on the Olympic Peninsula’s northwest coast in Clallam County, Washington.

Aerial photo of the lower half-mile of the Quillayute estuary, the marina and waterfront area of La Push, and a portion of the eastern shore of James Island, Washington, where the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District plans to repair the Quillayute Sea dike in September 2023. The dike is vital to support the Coast Guard Station Quillayute River, which performs search-and-rescue operations from the marina located on the reservation, and whose responsibility covers 63 miles of the Pacific Ocean coast and extends 50 nautical miles offshore.
(Photo By Nicole Celestine)

“The dike is also vital to support U.S. Coast Guard Station Quillayute River,” said Michael Suh, project manager, which performs search-and-rescue operations from the marina located on the reservation. The station’s area of responsibility covers 63 miles of Pacific Ocean coast and extends 50 nautical miles offshore.

The dike protects the Quillayute River Navigation Channel by reducing incoming wave transmissions. This protection is critical because damage from wave and/or current forces the dike has experienced over its lifetime has made it undersized and no longer able to provide the needed protection to the community.

Seattle-based Duwamish-Pacific Joint Venture should begin the project Sept. 1, 2023. The project will restore the dike structure to its authorized height 8 feet above mean lower low water within the approved in-water work window Sept. 1, 2023, through March 1, 2024.

This work window is also beneficial because wave and tide conditions are favorable.

The Quileute Tribe also relies heavily upon the marina for its ocean access.

The dike repair project also benefits commercial and recreational fishermen, and boaters.