USA: Corps Seeks Comments for Sandy River Delta Environmental Assessment

Corps Seeks Comments for Sandy River Delta Environmental Assessment

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is seeking comments on its revised plan to improve habitat for juvenile salmonids in the Sandy River Delta, particularly those species listed under the Endangered Species Act.

The public is invited to comment on the draft Environmental Assessment until Jan. 21, 2013.

The U.S. Forest Service and Bonneville Power Administration are cooperating federal agencie s on the project under the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Portland Water Bureau plans to fund a portion of the project.

The primary aim of this project is to restore the historic main channel of the Sandy River where it enters the Columbia River, providing year-round fish access to the channel. The Corps plans to remove an eight-foot tall dam that was built in the 1930s, and to excavate a pilot channel within the historic main channel. When the project is complete, the Sandy River would flow year-round through both the historic and the present-day main channels.

Restoration actions at Sandy River Delta will benefit young salmon and steelhead from Oregon, Washington and Idaho that gain essential size and strength in the estuary during their migration to the ocean. Protecting habitat in the estuary helps offset the impacts of federal hydroelectric dams on the Columbia and Snake river systems and is a central element of a federal biological opinion governi ng operation of the dams.

[mappress]

Press Release, January 9, 2013

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