The Bonneville Power Administration is soliciting your comments on the draft environmental assessment it has prepared to evaluate whether to fund the proposed Wallooskee-Youngs Confluence Restoration Project just south of Astoria in Clatsop County, Oregon.
The proposed project would help BPA meet some of its federal Endangered Species Act obligations as defined in the Federal Columbia River Power System, 2014 Supplemental Biological Opinion (BiOp) by restoring and enhancing 193 acres of tidal wetlands. BPA works with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation to offset the effects of federal dams on salmon and steelhead. Estuary habitat improvements are a key component of this work. The estuary’s nutrient-rich habitat provides food and refuge for juvenile salmon as they make their critical transition from fresh water to salt water. Estuary projects can be complex, often involving a diversity of land owners and issues. The goal is to reconnect areas of the Columbia River flood plain and restore juvenile habitat by opening dikes and/or upgrading tide gates or culverts. The project would also provide habitat for wildlife such as deer, elk, and river otter.