Grays Harbor Geographic Response Plan (GH-GRP)

Grays Harbor

The Grays Harbor estuary is approximately 13 miles across at its widest point and narrows in some places to less than 100 yards; its entrance from the Pacific Ocean is approximately 2.5 miles wide. The estuary is a drowned portion of the Chehalis River Valley, and it is continually filled in with river borne sediments as well as marine deposits. These build up as intertidal mud and sand flats, which make up the area’s predominant physical feature. The three corners of the estuary are defined by the mouth of the Chehalis River to the east, the North Bay, and the South Bay. The North Bay receives waters from the Humptulips River; South Bay draws from the Elk and Johns Rivers and numerous tributaries. The major islands of the estuary are Goose and Sand Islands in North Bay; Whitcomb, Grass, and Laidlaw Islands in South Bay; and Rennie Island near the mouth of the Chehalis River. Bowerman Basin is located on the western side of Hoquiam. It is sheltered from Grays Harbor by a large peninsula occupied by Bowerman Field Airport. Shorelines inside Grays Harbor consist primarily of marsh and sheltered tidal flats, while coastal shorelines along the Pacific Ocean west of Grays Harbor are mainly fine grained sandy beaches.

View the Grays Harbor GRP (December 2013) (23 MB)

Pending Updates

In between plan updates, GRP response and notification strategies are tested during drills and actual spill events. These tests, or physical changes in the area (erosion, construction, etc.), may require a change to the strategies published in the plan. Eventually these “modified” strategies will be included in an updated plan. In the meantime, the following list of pending updates should be considered before published response and notification strategies are deployed.

No pending updates currently available

View the GH Response To Comments Received Through October 15, 2013

How to Comment

If you have any questions or comments, suggestions for improvement, or find errors in this document please submit comments online at, email them to us at, or forward them via U.S. Mail to the following agencies:

United States Coast Guard
Sector Columbia River
Incident Management Division
2185 SE 12th Place
Warrenton, OR 97146

Washington State Department of Ecology
Spill Prevention, Preparedness, and Response (GRPs)
P.O. Box 47600
Olympia, WA 98504-7600