Public and non-profit organizations in Grays Harbor, Thurston and Lewis counties are receiving about $6 million in state grants this spring for 28 habitat restoration projects in the Chehalis River Basin.
Most of the projects will replace barrier culverts that have blocked fish passage, and altogether will open more than 130 miles of streams to migrating salmon and other aquatic species. By improving culverts on local roads, the projects will also reduce flooding of transportation corridors. The projects are scheduled for completion by July 2017.
Projects receiving funding include:
“I appreciate all the hard work that the Chehalis Basin Fisheries Task Force and the county engineering staff have done to make these habitat restoration and protection projects happen,” said Grays Harbor County Commissioner Frank Gordon. “We are grateful for state and legislative funding to restore our natural resources.”
State lawmakers authorized the funding in the 2015-17 capital budget as part of the Chehalis Basin Strategy, a long-term effort to reduce flood damage and restore habitat. The habitat restoration grant process was conducted by WDFW and the Chehalis Basin Lead Entity’s Habitat Work Group. Projects were selected for funding by biologists, engineers, and habitat restoration professionals from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Quinault Indian Nation, and a representative of the Lead Entity’s citizen advisory committee. The state Recreation and Conservation Office is administering the funds and overseeing the projects.
Projects were selected for funding based on their potential benefits for fish and other species, value to local communities, and the likelihood that they could be implemented quickly and cost-effectively, said Kirsten Harma, Chehalis Basin Lead Entity Coordinator. Twenty-five (25) of the projects involve on-the-ground restoration work, while three are for planning and design of restoration activity that will take place in future years in Grays Harbor and Lewis counties, Harma said.
For a full list of successful grantees, click here.