The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) is funding habitat restoration on Kerry Island in Columbia County, Oregon.
Under the proposal, BPA would fund Columbia Land Trust will conduct the restoration actions on Kerry Island located along Westport Slough approximately one mile east of Westport, Oregon. Kerry Island historically had tidally-influenced freshwater wetlands and tidal channels. Over 50 years ago, a levee was constructed on the property disconnecting it from the slough. The property was graded and ditched to allow for cattle grazing, so there is no longer fish access to the wetlands and tidal channels that used to run through the property and connect to Westport Slough. In addition, cattle grazing and the lack of riparian tree cover on the island contribute to degraded water quality in Westport Slough.
Proposed restoration actions include levee removal, ditch filling, and tidal channel creation to restore tidal function as well as invasive species control and native plantings to improve habitat and water quality. The restoration will improve habitat for 13 Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed salmon and steelhead species and ESA-listed eulachon (smelt) as well as other fish and wildlife species. A location map and conceptual plan of the project proposal are attached.
BPA analyzed the potential impacts of the proposal as required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). To ensure consideration of potential environmental impacts of the project, BPA prepared a supplement analysis to the Columbia Estuary Ecosystem Restoration Project Environmental Assessment (Programmatic Estuary EA). The Programmatic Estuary EA analyzed the environmental impacts anticipated for restoration projects within the Columbia River Estuary, with the intent of facilitating and streamlining future site-specific project reviews.
The supplement analysis for the Kerry Island project helped determine whether there were substantial changes in the proposed action or significant changes or information relevant to environmental concerns from that analyzed in the Programmatic Estuary EA. As part of the supplement analysis, BPA sent letters in March 2016 to potentially affected landowners, federal, state, and local agencies, tribes, and interest groups that explained the project and requested comments. Three comments were received. Using the public input and consideration of potential environmental impacts, BPA completed the supplement analysis, confirming that the restoration actions of the Kerry Island project are consistent with the Programmatic Estuary EA and that no further NEPA documentation is required.
Public comment period
NEPA Analysis and Documentation
March 2, 2016 through April 4, 2016
March 2, 2016 through July 26, 2016