News Releases

Murray secures funding for Army Corps projects that will boost the economy, protect the environment

Jul 20 2010

Murray secures funding for Army Corps projects that will boost the economy, protect the environment

(Washington, D.C.) - Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that she has secured significant funding for critical Washington state Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation projects in the fiscal year 2011 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill. These local investments will protect families, homes, and communities across Washington state. And many of them are critical to maintaining infrastructure that ensures the continued movement of goods across critical waterways, which is so critical for the local economies across so many communities.

“I am proud to fight for these local priorities that will keep our communities safe, our water clean, and our critical rivers and channels healthy and open for business,” said Senator Patty Murray. “These investments will make sure local communities have the resources they need to build and maintain critical infrastructure, grow their economies, and protect the health of their families—and I am proud to work closely with them to bring these resources to Washington state.”

The following are select Washington state priority projects that Senator Murray worked to fund in this bill:

Centralia Flood Control
Recipient:  Seattle District, Army Corp of Engineers
President’s Request: $0
Senate Amount: $500,000
Location:  Lewis County, Washington
Purpose:  The Centralia Flood Control investigation would allow the Army Corps of Engineers to continue preconstruction engineering and design for a project to reduce flooding in urban areas, including the cities of Centralia and Chehalis, and to reduce the risk of flooding to the I-5 corridor.
Importance:  Significant flooding in 2007 and 2009 resulted in heavy damages to the urban and rural areas of the Chehalis Basin and closed the I-5 corridor for a total of six days.  This project is needed to protect citizens, communities and the interstate from further flooding.

Chehalis River Basin
Recipient:  Seattle District, Army Corps of Engineers
President’s Request: $0
Senate Amount: $500,000
Location:  Grays Harbor County, Washington
Purpose:  Funding would allow the Army Corps of Engineers to continue studying measures to reduce flood risks and restore the ecosystem throughout the Chehalis River Basin.
Importance:  Significant flooding in 2007 and 2009 caused heavy damages to urban and rural areas of the river basin. Local governments are considering sponsoring an expansion of the study to pursue basin-wide flood risk management. 

Lower Monumental Lock and Dam
Recipient: Walla Walla District, Army Corps of Engineers
President’s Request: $4,73445,000
Senate Amount: $4,734,000
Location:  Walla Walla and Franklin Counties, Washington
Purpose: This funding would allow the Army Corps of Engineers to begin work on replacing the downstream lock gate.
Importance:   This project is critical to the continued movement of the over 2.8 million tons of cargo valued at $750 million that travels on the Columbia Snake River System annually. The failure of this lock would cut off shipments of imports and exports and poses a high risk to salmon recovery efforts in the region.

Baker Bay Channel Dredging at Ilwaco
Recipient: Portland District, Army Corps of Engineers
President’s Request: $0
Senate Amount: $800,000
Location: Baker Bay, Pacific County, Washington
Purpose: The Army Corps of Engineers would use these funds to dredge the channel to the Port of Ilwaco to the authorized depth to maintain safe navigation in and out of the port.
Importance: The Baker Bay Channel provides marina access for the US Coast Guard and the commercial, charter, and sport fishing industries which are vital to the economy of the City of Ilwaco and the region.

Columbia River between Chinook and Sand Island
Recipient:  Portland District, Army Corps of Engineers
President’s Request: $0
Senate Amount: $900,000
Location:  Chinook, Washington
Purpose: The Army Corps of Engineers would use this funding to dredge the federal navigation channel to the authorized depth, maintaining a safe navigation channel to the Port of Chinook
Importance: The one-mile channel from the port basin to the Columbia River needs to be dredged to ensure access to  the commercial and recreational boats that rely on the Port of Chinook’s seafood processing facilities, stores, campgrounds, and boat-repair shops that are critical to the region’s economy.

Shoalwater Bay Shoreline Erosion
Recipient:  Seattle District, Army Corps of Engineers
President’s Request: $0
Senate Amount: $3,000,000
Location:  Pacific County, Washington
Purpose:  This construction project will allow the Army Corps of Engineers to provide flood protection and severe coastal storm damage reduction to the Shoalwater Tribe’s reservation.
Importance:  The Shoalwater Tribe’s reservation is experiencing an alarming rate of shoreline erosion which has caused flooding of tribal lands and facilities.  This construction project will help protect the reservation and prevent further loss of tidal areas including shellfish beds which provide a major portion of the tribe’s livelihood

Skagit River General Investigation Study
Recipient: Seattle District, Army Corps of Engineers
President’s Request: $0
Senate Amount: $1,137,000
Location: Skagit County, Washington
Purpose: This funding would allow the Army Corps of Engineers to analyze possible flood control projects to protect citizens and infrastructure that would be impacted by a flood event on the Skagit River.
Importance: This project would investigate options to protect local commercial infrastructure, the sole north-south interstate and railroad corridor west of the Cascades, state and local roads, and fuel pipelines from Anacortes refineries to Seattle and SeaTac Airport from a major flood event.

Skokomish River Basin Flood Damage and Ecosystem Restoration  
Recipient: Seattle District, Army Corps of Engineers
President’s Request: $0
Senate Amount: $300,000
Location: Skokomish River Basin, Mason County, Washington
Purpose: This funding would allow the Army Corps of Engineers to examine flood control and ecosystem restoration options for the Skokomish River and would result in the development of a comprehensive watershed restoration plan.
Importance: In addition to creating a plan to prevent the significant and ongoing flooding that has threatened the region for decades, this project would allow for the restoration of critical fish and wildlife habitat.

Elliott Bay (Alaskan Way) Seawall Feasibility Study
Recipient: Seattle District, Army Corps of Engineers
President’s Request: $0
Senate Amount: $500,000
Location: Seattle, Washington
Purpose: The Army Corps of Engineers would utilize this funding to investigate and document damages to the infrastructure of the 75-year-old Elliot Bay Seawall.
Importance: The aging seawall provides protection to the city of Seattle and the public utility, telecommunications and transportation network along Elliot Bay. Failure of the seawall would disrupt these activities as well as rail operations along a significant national freight corridor.

Puyallup River
Recipient: Seattle District, Army Corps of Engineers
President’s Request: $0
Senate Amount: $450,000
Location: Pierce County, Washington
Purpose: This funding would help the Army Corps of Engineers to determine alternatives for addressing the flood and habitat issues of the Puyallup River.
Importance:  In addition to protecting the safety of local populations and minimizing damage to the area’s businesses and infrastructure, this funding would also protect several vital transportation corridors including Interstate 5 and two active rail lines that transport cargo and passengers across the region.

Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration
Recipient: Seattle District, Army Corps of Engineers
President’s Request: $400,000
Senate Amount: $400,000
Location: Whatcom, Clallum, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, Island, King, Pierce, Thurston, Kitsap, Mason, and Jefferson Counties, Washington
Purpose: This funding would allow the Army Corps of Engineers to identify, design and construct riparian habitat restoration sites in the nearshore, estuarine and marine areas of Puget Sound.
Importance: In addition to protecting public health, water quality and the aesthetics of the nearshore areas and supporting numerous threatened and endangered species, this funding would invest in the natural assets that are important to the region’s the shipping, fishing & shellfish production, outdoor recreation and tourism industries.

Puget Sound and Adjacent Waters Restoration Construction General Program
Recipient: Seattle District, Army Corps of Engineers
President’s Request: $0
Senate Amount: $3,000,000
Location: Whatcom, Clallum, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, Island, King, Pierce, Thurston, Kitsap, Mason, and Jefferson Counties, Washington
Purpose:  This funding would allow the Army Corps of Engineers to identify and construct critical ecosystem restoration projects on the locally- and federally-owned lands bordering the Puget Sound.
Location: In addition to restoring habitats for many threatened, endangered, or candidates for listing under the federal Endangered Species Act, this funding would invest in the natural assets that are important to the region’s the shipping, fishing & shellfish production, outdoor recreation and tourism industries.

Duwamish/Green River Ecosystem Restoration Program
Recipient: Seattle District, Army Corps of Engineers
President’s Request: $5,500,000
Senate Amount: $5,500,000
Location: Duwamish/Green Watershed, King County, Washington
Purpose: This funding would provide critical habitat restoration improvements to help offset the significant loss of fish and wildlife habitat due in part to federally-constructed and -maintained projects.
Importance: This project would assist in the recovery of fish and wildlife species, including the Endangered Species Act federally-listed chinook salmon that are integral to the economic growth and well-being of the region.

Mt. St Helens Sediment Control
Recipient:  Portland District, Army Corps of Engineers
President’s Request: $800,000
Senate Amount: $1,800,000
Location: Cowlitz County, Washington
Purpose:  The Army Corps of Engineers would use this funding to continue monitoring and analysis of sediment resulting from the 1980 eruption of Mt St Helens and to continue analysis of levee modification and dredging for a long-term solution.  
Importance:  Sediment and debris runoff from the Mt St Helens eruption continues to flow downstream which causes potential flooding concerns and navigation problems for the economically-important recreational watercraft that utilize the Cowlitz and Toutle Rivers.

Columbia River at the Mouth

Recipient: Portland District, Army Corps of Engineers
President’s Request: $12,850,000
Senate Amount: $18,350,000
Location: Pacific County, Washington
Purpose: This funding would allow the Army Corps of Engineers to dredge the mouth of the Columbia River where it meets the Pacific Ocean. Additional funds will be used to study the major rehabilitation of the jetties and conduct interim repairs.
Importance: This project is critical to the economic vitality of the region, as $16 billion in exports and imports are transported via the Columbia River annually. It will help maintain a safe navigation channel that is necessary for the transit of these commercial and recreational vessels. 

Lake Washington Ship Canal

Recipient: Seattle District, Army Corps of Engineers
President’s Request: $8,276,000
Senate Amount: $13,376,000
Location: Seattle, Washington
Purpose: This funding would allow the Army Corps of Engineers to provide critical structural, electrical, and mechanical updates to the Lake Washington Ship Canal navigation lock.
Importance: This project is critical to maintaining the economic vitality of the Pacific Northwest, as the Lake Washington Ship Canal is the busiest navigation lock in the United States, with over 1.5 million tons of cargo and about 50,000 vessels passing through the lock annually. It will also aid in salmon restoration through the canal’s fish ladder. 

Mud Mountain Dam

Recipient: Seattle District, Army Corps of Engineers
President’s Request: $3,441,000
Senate Amount: $3,441,000
Location: Pierce and King Counties, Washington
Purpose: The Army Corps of Engineers would utilize this funding to maintain the existing diversion dam and trap and haul facilities, which ensure that threatened Puget Sound Chinook salmon are able to be passed to spawning habitats above the dam.
Importance: This project will ensure proper maintenance of the diversion dam and trap and haul facilities, and is necessary to prevent Mud Mountain Dam from becoming an impassible barrier to salmon and other species, which would violate the Endangered Species Act and put the sustainability of the dam at risk. 

Puyallup River

Recipient: Seattle District, Army Corps of Engineers
President’s Request: $0
Senate Amount: $450,000
Location: Pierce County, Washington
Purpose: This funding would allow the Army Corps of Engineers to study and determine the alternatives for addressing flood and related habitat issues of the Puyallup River.
Importance: This project would allow various mitigation efforts stemming from this study protect the safety of local communities and minimize damage to the area’s businesses and infrastructure in the event of a flood on the river. This is necessary because the potentially-affected area is economically important to the region as it is heavily industrialized and includes Interstate 5 and two active rail lines transporting cargo and passengers across the state and nation. 

Puget Sound and Adjacent Waters Restoration Construction General Program

Recipient: Seattle District, Army Corps of Engineers
President’s Request: $0
Senate Amount: $3,000,000
Location: Whatcom, Clallam, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, Island, King, Pierce, Thurston, Kitsap, Mason, and Jefferson Counties, Washington
Purpose: This funding would allow the Army Corps of Engineers to identify and construct critical ecosystem restoration projects on the locally-and federally-owned lands bordering the Puget Sound.
Importance: This project would restore the habitats of species that are threatened, endangered, or candidates for listing under the Federal Endangered Species Act, and would invest in the natural assets that are important to the region’s shipping, fishing, and shellfish production, outdoor recreation, and tourism industries. 

Swinomish Channel Maintenance Dredging

Recipient: Seattle District, Army Corps of Engineers
President’s Request: $62,000
Senate Amount: $600,000
Location: Skagit County, Washington
Purpose: This funding would allow the Army Corps of Engineers to dredge the Swinomish Channel, which is necessary to maintaining navigable depths for the vessels that travel the channel.
Importance: The maintenance garnered from this project is vital to the economic well-being of the region, as significant revenue is generated by moorage slips, marine-related businesses, and the commercial and recreation boasts that use the Swinomish Channel. 

Walla Walla Watershed 

Recipient: Walla Walla District, Army Corps of Engineers
President’s Request: $0
Senate Amount: $500,000
Location: Walla Walla and Columbia Counties, Washington and Umatilla, Wallowa, and Union Counties, Oregon
Purpose: This funding would allow the Army Corps of Engineers to focus on the restoration and management of a viable ecosystem in the Walla Walla River Basin by evaluating and recommending plans to boost biological resources and natural ecosystem functions and processes.
Importance: This project would restore instream flows for Chinook salmon, steelhead trout, and other fish, as well as provide a stable water source that provides water for the region’s economically-important agriculture industry.