How Helmut’s Marine Helped Get the San Rafael Channel Dredged
The San Rafael Federal Navigation Channel runs from the San Francisco Bay into the heart of northern Marin County, providing essential services to the community. Fire and police rescue boats rely on it to hasten response times. The San Rafael Channel is a significant economic engine (the channel-adjacent East San Rafael business district generates 66% of the city’s sales tax revenue). And the channel helps reduce the risk of flooding.
Our facility, which boasts one of the largest inventory of Volvo Penta engines and parts, is located on the San Rafael Channel. This waterway is crucial for us to be able to serve our customers, including yachters, sailboaters, families, hobbyists, and commercial fisherman.
In 2022, the channel was dredged for the first time in two decades. This might not seem like monumental news, but it’s actually a big deal for our entire community.
Why Does Dredging Matter?
Dredging is important both for the environment and the economy. The process widens and deepens the channel and removes trash and debris, improving water quality and creating an accessible waterway for boats.
Dredging should occur every six years, but because federal funds were stretched thin the last full dredging was completed in 2002. The channel was long overdue, so the local community began to speak up. And Helmut’s Marine’s own Nadine Urciuoli took action. In 2015, with the help of a mentor, Craig DeRoy, Nadine developed the San Rafael Channel Association, hired a lobbyist, and traveled to Washington to advocate for federal funds.
A Win for The Bay Area Community
It was a lengthy battle vying for government funding. Our efforts paid off, however, and we were able to secure it. In March 2020, the San Rafael Channel was awarded $1,378,000 for the first step in dredging: the environmental testing and preliminary design. And when the Fiscal Year 2022 President’s Budget was released, it included $6,750,000 towards dredging of the San Rafael Channel.
Because of the successful lobbying efforts, first by the local community then by Nadine and Craig, fire and police boats can use the channel now, marine businesses can prosper, and homes are protected from flooding. This is a win for the whole community. And our Helmut’s Marine customers can now safely bring their boats to us by water without concerns of running aground.
A Passion for Quality Marine Services
At Helmut’s Marine, we have a passion for quality, which is why we devoted ourselves to lobbying for the improvement of the San Rafael Channel. It’s also why we devote ourselves to offering one of the largest inventories of Volvo Penta Engine parts and engines with the highest standard of service and support.
See how Helmut’s Marine can help you enjoy your boating experience. If you want to learn more about Volvo Penta marine parts, engines, or our services, reach out to us.