Chief of Engineers signs Skokomish River Ecosystem Restoration Project report

US Army Corp of Engineers Seattle District logoThe Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers signed a key ecosystem restoration report allowing Congress to consider the project for future authorization.

The “Chief’s Report” for the Skokomish River Basin Ecosystem Restoration Project was signed Dec. 14, 2015 by Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, USACE Commander and Chief of Engineers. The recommendations presented in the Chief’s Report represent a multi-year planning effort involving the Corps’ Seattle District, Mason County, the Skokomish Indian Tribe and other local, state and federal agency representatives.

The recommended plan includes a levee removal, placement of large woody debris, wetland restoration at two sites, and a side channel reconnection. Once constructed, the project will restore about 280 acres of habitat for fish and wildlife species in the Skokomish River Basin.

The Chief’s Report, Final Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement are available for viewing online at http://tinyurl.com/SkokGI.

Mason County and the Skokomish Indian Tribe are the non-federal project sponsors working with the Corps on the restoration effort.

The Skokomish River is the largest and most diverse tributary to Hood Canal, a 70-mile long natural fjord-like arm of Puget Sound that supports vital natural resources. The recommended plan is a critical element of an integrated restoration effort in the entire Skokomish River Basin and complements restoration efforts being completed by others throughout the watershed.

The Chief’s Report will undergo additional review by the Assistant Secretary of the Army, Civil Works and the Office of Management & Budget. It will be formally transmitted to Congress upon completion of those reviews.

Final design and construction of the project is contingent on Congress providing authority and funding.