The Navy plans to build a new pier and support buildings on Ediz Hook in Port Angeles, to the chagrin of some locals. One of the proposed sites is right on top of a popular recreational diving and fishing spot.
The $16 million plan includes three proposed sites along the 3-mile sand spit that separates Port Angeles from the Strait of Juan De Fuca.
One site is near an existing pier, another is at the end of the spit. A third is right on top of an artificial reef known by divers and fishers as the rock pile.
Howard Cunningham, who owns Strait Scuba, said if the Navy builds on the rock pile it would be a big loss, not just for divers but for his business. He brings beginning divers to that spot all the time.
“There’s hardly any current. There’s a lot of stuff to look at compared to other spots,” Cunningham said. “And we’d also lose some business renting a charter boat. The next closest dive spot is about an hour and a half run from here.”
The Navy says it needs the new construction to support the vessels that escort submarines from Bangor Air Force Base through Hood Canal. The proposal says crews routinely exceed their hours at sea. According to the Navy’s proposal, the facility and pier would solve that problem by giving Coast Guard personnel a place to rest.
The public can weigh in Thursday at a meeting at the Naval Elks Lodge in Port Angeles from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Public comments can also be submitted until Feb. 25.