POINT COMFORT – A local fisherman spoke against the dredging being done by the Calhoun Port Authority at the port during its regular meeting Wednesday, Sept. 8.

Jose Antonio Martinez spoke for his group through a translator concerning how mercury could affect shellfish – oysters, shrimp, and other sea life if the dredging is done too close to oyster beds.

“I’m a concerned fisherman, and this is not only my job, but my life,” he said. “We depend on this and each other – as a family.”

Diane Wilson, who conducted a hunger strike to protest the dredging, also spoke during the public comment portion.

“I’m opposed to the dredging as well as the widening and deepening. I can’t believe people who live in the community can’t see the damage caused by this kind of dredging,” she said.

Port board chairman Luis De La Garza thanked the group for coming and expressing their views.

Also, during the meeting, the board heard a report from Port Director Charles Hausmann.

He reported that total revenue tons for the first two months of the fiscal year were at 781,537.

He also said the port was at minus 37 feet after maintenance dredging for the first time since 2017 before Hurricane Harvey.

“This has given us two more feet of draft for the ships. It’s looking really, really good,” he said.

Also, during the meeting, the board:

• Awarded the LD-1 Dredging Project to Crosby Dredging for $7,137,800.

• Approved board travel to Galveston for a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers meeting.

• Heard committee reports.

• Approved the fiscal year 2022 maintenance and operations tax of .009.

• Approved a reduction in the amount of acreage leased by NGL Crude Terminals from 10.45 acres to 9.83 due to the construction of an access road to the Joslin Plant.

• Approved an easement for NGL related to the access road.

• Took no action following a closed session.

• Declined a request from Cooper Advertising to lease land for a sign structure.

• Approved advertising for bids for the Matagorda Ship Channel Improvement Project, Environmental Soil Sampling.