News Releases

Senator Murray Secures Millions in Funding to Help Washington State Water Projects

Jun 26 2007

Funding will go to habitat restoration, flood control, erosion mitigation, dredging and dam reconstruction

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) included millions in funding for Washington state waterways in an annual Senate spending bill. The funding will be used on habitat restoration, flood control, erosion mitigation, dredging and dam reconstruction projects. The funding was unveiled in the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations bill. Senator Murray is a senior member of the Energy and Water Subcommittee.

"These funds will help restore species' habitats, protect communities from flooding, dredge economically vital waterways, and improve the overall health and vitality of our state's waterways," said Senator Murray. "I am proud to support the vital work that the Army Corp of Engineers and local communities are undertaking to keep our environment clean, our citizens safe, and our economy moving. I am committed to protecting and preserving our state's water resources."

Washington state projects slated to receive funding include:

Elliot Bay Seawall Study- $750,000

This funding will go toward a study to document the problems and opportunities associated with the seawall and formulate potential plans for a solution. The 70-year-old Alaskan Way Seawall is failing and needs to be replaced.  Tiny marine organisms, known as gribbles, are attacking and significantly weakening the wood timbers that make up the structural support of the seawall.  

Puget Sound Nearshore – $1.5 million

These funds will support identification, design and construction of the best habitat restoration sites in the areas along the bank of the Puget Sound.

Walla Walla Watershed Restoration - $100,000

This funding will go toward addressing water supply and fish habitat issues in the Walla Walla Watershed. This project is supported by environmental, tribal, farming, and irrigation interests as well as The National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Natural Resource Conservation Service. The Walla Walla Watershed includes three main river systems the Walla Walla, Touchet, and Mill Creek.

Lake Washington Ship Canal Restoration - $400,000

These funds will support habitat and ecosystem restoration efforts in the Lake Washington Ship Canal watershed.  This is critical to the region’s environmental and economic future.  

Centralia Flood Control – $150,000

These funds will go toward finding a solution to flooding in the Chehalis River basin.

These funds will continue critical efforts to design and construct a flood control project that would help to stop closure of Interstate 5 during flood season.

Shoalwater Bay Shoreline - $1.5 million

These funds will fund a critical erosion protection project near Willapa Bay. Currently, shoreline erosion is progressing at an alarming rate at the Shoalwater Tribe’s reservation.  This loss includes tidal areas that include shellfish beds, which provide a major portion of the tribe’s livelihood. The project Murray is funding will go toward a barrier to help mitigate the effects of erosion. 

Lower Columbia River Ecosystem Restoration - $1.5 million

This funding will provide habitat restoration in the Lower Columbia River.  This will benefit endangered salmon, steelhead, and various other species. 

Mud Mountain Dam Construction – $15.3 million

These funds will be used to replace the 100-year old diversion dam on the White River near Seattle and will enable the Corps to meet ongoing fish passage needs. It will also be used for operations of the current facility. 

Mt. St. Helens Sediment Control - $10.2 million

These funds will be used to continue to control sediment flows in the Cowlitz and Toutle Rivers. In February, Senator Murray visited this project to receive a status briefing from the Army Corp of Engineers. Murray also held a community roundtable to discuss the project with local residents. 

Swinomish Channel Dredging - $500,000

This funding will be used to dredge Swinomish Channel in Northwest Washington. The Swinomish Channel needs to be dredged every three to four years to prevent groundings.  The channel is used for commercial and recreation purposes including:  boat builders, log-tow companies, fishermen, dry boat operators and boaters.  The channel needs to be dredged to a depth of 12 feet.