News Releases

Senator Murray Applauds Progress on Hanford Reach Visitors Center

Dec 07 2005

$2.25 million secured by Murray for new Center will preserve Hanford history, support the environment, and enhance tourism and economic development

(Richland, WA) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) today traveled to Richland to meet with Friends of the Reach for a progress report on the new Hanford Reach Visitors Center. Known as the REACH Interpretive Center, this new facility will be the gateway to the Hanford Reach National Monument.



The Visitor's Center will house the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Tri-City Visitor and Convention Bureau, Washington State Parks, and will include a state of the art exhibit hall. The Tri-Cities community has rallied behind this project, which Senator Murray has helped fund in the United States Senate. During the progress report, Senator Murray had the opportunity to view a model of the planned Visitor's Center.



"I'm so proud to have secured $2.25 million in the 2006 Interior Appropriations bill for the Visitor's Center at Hanford Reach," Murray said. "This funding will allow us to realize our dream of not only keeping this special place in a beautiful, pristine state, but also making sure that the people who come to see it leave educated about how special a place it really is."



“For the last decade, Senator Murray has worked to protect the Hanford Reach," and she played an instrumental role in the designation of it as a National Monument in 2000. She has worked to ensure the community's voice is heard in management of the area.



Senator Murray has also been a strong supporter of the construction of Hanford Reach Visitor's Center, which will preserve the region's history for generations to come. She secured $2.25 million for a Hanford Reach Visitor's Center in the fiscal year 2006 Interior Appropriations bill, and $750,000 for the Visitor's Center in the fiscal year 2005 Interior Appropriations. The total federal commitment to the Visitor's Center project is now $5.78 million, funding which has been secured largely through Senator Murray's leadership.



Senator Murray's remarks follow:



“Thanks so much for having me here today. It's great to celebrate the progress we're making together to make sure the Reach's precious ecology, and this region's proud history are passed on to future generations.



I was so proud to stand on the banks of the Columbia River, beside Vice President Gore, when the historic announcement was made that this would be a National Monument. It was a dream come true. For a long time, many of us dreamed of preserving the Reach. We know there are few places in the world like it.



Our success in doing that – and our great progress in getting funding for the Visitor's Center – is a testament to what we can accomplish when we work together. I'm so proud to have secured $2.25 million in the 2006 Interior Appropriations bill for the Visitor's Center. This brings the total federal commitment to this project to $5.78 million. This funding will allow us to realize our dream of not only keeping this special place in a beautiful, pristine state, but also making sure that the people who come to see it leave educated about how special a place it really is. Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication. I'm so proud to be your partner, and I'm looking forward to hearing about the progress you're making in your efforts.”