News Releases

Washington State Army Corps Projects Included in Final Version of Senate Spending Bill

Oct 15 2009

Murray fought to include funding for projects to help reduce the risk of floods, move cargo, and ensure economic growth

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that that the funding she included for Washington state Army Corps of Engineers projects the in the fiscal year 2010 Senate Energy and Water Development appropriations bill has been included in the final version of the spending bill. The bill has now been approved by both houses of Congress after passing the Senate today by a vote of 80-17 and will now head to the President who is expected to sign it into law.

“I fought hard to include funding for Washington state priority projects that will allow the Corps to build and maintain critical state infrastructure, as well as protect our families and communities from natural disasters,” said Senator Murray. “These funds will also be used to protect the health of families across the state, and ensure that key waterways are maintained to ensure the strength of our economy and our environment.”

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
Final amount: $672,000
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
Final amount: $672,000
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
Final amount: $2,599,000
Location:  Walla Walla and Franklin Counties, Washington
Purpose: This funding would allow the Army Corps of Engineers to continue their work on the Lower Monumental Lock and Dam.
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
Final amount: $674,000
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
Final amount: $771,000
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
Final amount: $2,906,000
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
Final amount: $359,000
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
Final amount: $430,000
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.

Stillaguamish River Ecosystem Restoration
Recipient: Seattle District, Army Corps of Engineers
Final amount: $90,000
Location: Stillaguamish River Estuary, Snohomish County, Washington 
Purpose: This funding would allow the Army Corps of Engineers to craft plans for restoring tidal wetland and channel habitats by reintroducing natural processes such as normal tidal and river flows, sediment accretion and erosion, to the site through dike setback.
Importance: This project would help to reinstate the estuary habitat in Puget Sound marshes, mudflats and tidally-influenced channels to support hundreds of thousands of birds and several fish and wildlife species that are currently protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Elliott Bay (Alaskan Way) Seawall Feasibility Study
Recipient: Seattle District, Army Corps of Engineers
Final amount: $462,000
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
Final amount: $368,000
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
Final amount: $341,000
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 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
Final amount: $100,000
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 continue identifying and constructing 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
Final amount: $2,456,000
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
Final amount: $1,500,000
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.