[VIDEO] Restoration efforts in the Skokomish River watershed just received a major boost with an infusion of $2,655,000 in federal funds. The federal dollars will be matched with local salmon and floodplain grants aimed at advancing several important projects within the valley.
The Army Corps of Engineers just released their FY 2018 work plan which includes $1,055,000 to complete design of five ecosystem restoration projects in the valley. The Federal Highway Administration, Western Federal Lands Division, announced approved programming of $1,600, 000 in improvements to the Skokomish Valley Road between Swift Creek and Vance Creek bridges.
The projects bring multiple benefits by increasing habitat for endangered species, reducing flood risk, restoring an estuary of national significance, and reducing the threat of losing a primary access route serving both the valley and upper watershed.
“Federal Highway Administration assistance will be welcomed by valley residents tired of uncertain access in and out of the valley,” observed Mason County Commissioner Terri Drexler.
All of the projects are the result of tremendous collaboration between a diverse group, the Skokomish Watershed Action Team ( SWAT), working together to restore a healthy Skokomish watershed.
“The federal dollars awarded to assist projects in the Skokomish Valley prove partnerships are essential to getting work done for residents in our community. I am particularly grateful to Congressman Kilmer, leadership at the Skokomish Tribe and members of the Skokomish Watershed Action Team for working closely with Mason County staff to seek funding for projects critical to resident safety and habitat restoration. The flooding issues Valley residents face go back decades, but this funding will help ensure folks will be able to live, work and recreate in safety while also being good stewards of our local natural resources for years to come,” said Mason County Commissioner Kevin Shutty, whose district includes the Skokomish Valley.
Loretta Swanson is with Mason County Public Works: