Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) has decided to fund the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to reconnect 39 acres of existing wetlands on South Bachelor Island (SBI) to the Columbia River, providing secure ingress and egress to functional intertidal wetland habitat. A meandering backwater tidal channel would be created to provide year-round access to juvenile salmonids. The new wetland habitat would be self-sustaining, and fully influenced by tidal and fluvial forces on the main stem Columbia River.
Specific proposed restoration actions include: site access, improvement of wetland habitats through the creation of a new low-flow channel, shallow water habitat creation, and future native vegetation establishment. 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 that have lost quality shallow water habitat within the estuary.ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW:
BPA prepared a Supplement Analysis (SA) following the procedures in DOE’s NEPA Implementing Procedures at 10 CFR 1021 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.
This SA considered potential site-specific environmental impacts anticipated with the implementation of the South Bachelor Island (SBI) restoration project. The SA describes anticipated impacts to individual environmental resources based on this project and connected actions, including: fish; hydrology and hydraulics; geomorphology, soils, and topography; water, air, and sediment quality; wildlife, wetlands, floodplains, and vegetation; land use and recreation; socioeconomics; cultural and visual resources; transportation and infrastructure; public health and safety; and climate change.
BPA did not conduct independent public scoping for this project due to the project’s consistency with the analysis provided in the Programmatic Estuary EA, for which a finding of no significant impact (FONSI) was issued on July 7, 2016. WDFW has conducted public meetings and meetings with landholding agencies, and the project has received support from local stakeholders including: WDFW, the Washington Department of Natural Resources, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Bachelor Island Conservation Farm, the Canvasback Lake Duck Club, and US Fish and Wildlife Service at RNWR. In compliance with the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) process for Washington, a public press release was published in The Columbian newspaper and others that described this restoration project. WDFW did not receive any concerns warranting further investigation of the impacts of this project, and a Determination of No Significance (DNS) was issued by the State of Washington in 2018.
The schedule for the environmental review is as follows:
|NEPA analysis and documentation
|May 1, 2019 - July 09, 2019|
July 15, 2019
BPA has completed the environmental review process for this project and has published a Supplement Analysis (link below). CONTACT:
For environmental information, contact:
Environmental Protection Specialist
Triad Technology Group
Bonneville Power Administration - ECF-4
PO Box 3621
Portland, OR 97208 -3621
Direct line: 503-230-5736
|For project information, contact:
Bonneville Power Administration - EWL-4
PO Box 3621
Portland, OR 97208 -3621
Direct line: 503-230-3375
Public letter (07/22/2016)
Final EA (07/07/2016)
FONSI/Mitigation Action Plan (07/07/2016)
Supplement Analysis (07/09/2019)