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Geological problem eons in the making costs Haines a quarter-million bucks

From the Chilkat Valley NewsLetnikof Cove just south of Haines is getting shallower at a rate of 1 foot per decade. It's not that the water level is dropping; the problem is a slow but steady rise in the harbor floor. The cause is glacial rebound, in which the Earth's crust, freed from the weight of ice age glaciation over millenniums, slowly springs back up. Glacial rebound is making parts of the Letnikof dock unusable during the lowest tides. Now the Haines Borough has appropriated $242,000 toward moving the floats into deeper water.

Public facilities director Carlos Jimenez said commercial fisherman Don Turner first brought the option of relocating the float to his attention. “Quickly after looking into it, it made sense to everybody,” Jimenez said.

One float is partially or entirely out of commission about 25 percent of the season because of low tide and its proximity to the shore, he said.

Relocation will be done as part of upcoming improvements at Letnikof, putting the project total at about $1.18 million.

Read more: Shallow waters force Letnikof float move