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February 17, 2015
Contact: Loren Brokaw, (425) 775-1311, ext. 105

Open house scheduled Feb. 25 to discuss
project to solve Leque Island dike failures

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has scheduled an open house Feb. 25 in Stanwood to discuss concepts for a project designed to address chronic dike failures on Leque Island.

The meeting is scheduled from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Stanwood Middle School cafeteria, 9405 271st Street NW.

Dikes built on the island in the early 1900's have failed multiple times over the past decade and have required costly temporary repairs.

During the meeting, the public will have an opportunity to learn more about the project and provide comments on six design alternatives. Those alternatives include rebuilding existing dikes or constructing dikes in various locations on the island to support a variety of land uses. In addition, one alternative calls for removing the dikes completely to fully restore natural tidal processes and salt marsh habitat.

The design alternatives - most of which would benefit a variety of fish and wildlife species by restoring estuary habitat - are available on WDFW's website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_areas/skagit/leque_island_project.php.

The alternatives were developed over the last year with input from a 31-member advisory committee that is made up of representatives from tribal and local governments, habitat restoration groups and recreationists that use the area, including waterfowl and pheasant hunters, wildlife viewers and dog trainers.

WDFW, which owns and manages Leque Island as part of the Skagit Wildlife Area, will select a preferred design alternative in April.

The department, in partnership with Ducks Unlimited, began the Leque Island Alternatives Analysis and Design Project in 2013.