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Lower Elochoman Estuary Restoration (DOE/EA-2006/SA-3)
Wahkiakum County, Washington

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) has decided to fund habitat restoration along the Elochoman River in Wahkiakum County, Washington. 

Under the proposal, BPA would fund Columbia Land Trust to conduct restoration actions along the Elochoman River, approximately one and a half miles north of Cathlamet, Washington. The restoration site historically had tidally-influenced freshwater wetlands and tidal channels. Early in the 20th century, mature Sitka spruce trees were harvested from the site and it was converted to agricultural use. Native vegetation removal, ditching, and wetland filling activities reduced the site’s estuarine habitat diversity.  In 2015, hydrology and fish access were restored through the removal of tidegates and installation of larger culverts under state Highway 4. 

Restoration actions being proposed include the removal of a low levee along the Elochoman River, the elimination of a single section of ditch, and native vegetation plantings. The restoration would 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.

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW:
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.

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; nine comments were received. Based on these comments, which primarily focused on flood risk and water movement, analysis was completed through the basis of design report and completed project designs.

Using the public input and consideration of potential environmental impacts, BPA completed the supplement analysis (SA), confirming that the restoration actions of the Lower Elochoman project are consistent with the Programmatic Estuary EA and that no further NEPA documentation is required.

The schedule for the environmental review was as follows:

​Scoping comment period
NEPA Analysis and Documentation
Construction Start
​March 2, 2016-April 4, 2016
March 2, 2016 - May 6, 2019
July 2019

 
CURRENT STATUS: 
BPA has completed the NEPA analysis and the Supplement Analysis has been published. A scoping letter was sent March 2, 2016 requesting public comment.  The comment period is closed now.

CONTACT:

For environmental information, contact:
Travis Kessler
Environmental Protection Specialist
Salient CRGT, Inc.
Bonneville Power Administration - ECF-4
PO Box 3621
Portland, OR 97208-3621

Toll-free:  800-622-4519
Direct Line:  503-230-5468
Email:  tdkessler@bpa.gov

For project information, contact:
Anne Creason
Project Manager
Bonneville Power Administration - EW-4
PO Box 3621
Portland, OR 97208-3621


Toll-free:  800-622-4519
Direct Line:  503-230-3859
Email:  amcreason@bpa.gov
 
DOCUMENTS:

SUPPLEMENT ANALYSIS
Public Letter                     (05/10/2019)
Supplement Analysis         (05/08/2019)

SCOPING
Scoping comments received
Public Letter                        (03/02/2016)
Public Notification Map          (01/25/2016)
Conceptual Design              (02/08/2016)
Comment Form                   (03/02/2016)