Friday, October 4, 2019

Columbia River Floodplain Restoration

By Karen Robes Meeks

Officials recently broke ground on the Steigerwald Floodplain Restoration Project, work that would restore a habitat and control flooding on land that is home to the Cowlitz, Chinook, and Grand Ronde tribes.

The Honorable Suzanne Bonamici, Washougal Mayor Molly Coston, US Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge Leader Chris Lapp, CEO for the Port of Camas-Washougal David Ripp, and Principal Restoration Ecologist and Project Manager Chris Collins were among the partners present at the Sept. 5 ground-breaking ceremony.

According to the port, the current levee along the Columbia River worsens flooding from Gibbons Creek and doesn’t allow the creek to drain naturally into the Columbia River.

About 2-1/4 miles of the levee will be taken out, relinking the river to 960 acres of floodplain, which was obstructed in 1966 when the US Army Corps of Engineers finished the levee.