The Los Angeles District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced on Friday, March 13, that it has postponed maintenance dredging to the Santa Barbara Harbor initially scheduled to begin that same day. The $50,000 project had been estimated to finish by mid-April but could potentially still finish on time, organizers said.
The decision came following recommendations by such organizations as the City of Santa Barbara and the National Marine Fisheries Service in light of the 25-foot gray whale that has been seen in the harbor in the past week. A statement from the Army Corps of Engineers noted that work could begin once the whale leaves. “We recognize the significance of this whale in the harbor,” said District Commander Col. Thomas Magness in a press release. “Our dredging operation can wait!”
The notice also advised that those piloting boats through the harbor exercise caution to avoid injuring the whale.