Theresa Mitchell, 360-790-8252
Seth Ballhorn, 360-791-4987
OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking public input on a proposed restoration project on the Duckabush River estuary in Jefferson County. The project would reconnect the Duckabush River to neighboring floodplains and wetlands by modifying local roads and elevating Highway 101 onto a bridge spanning the area where freshwater from the Duckabush River meets saltwater of Hood Canal.
WDFW will collect public comments to help identify what to evaluate in a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) from June 27 to July 26, 2019. People can provide their input online, by mail, or in person. Comments should be succinct and focus on impacts that could significantly affect the environment.
Community members are invited to join WDFW staff at a public meeting on Saturday, July 13 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Brinnon School (46 Schoolhouse Rd., Brinnon, WA 98320). Comment forms will be available at the meeting.
The Duckabush River estuary is impacted by fill, dikes, and road infrastructure, including Highway 101, which blocks water channels and limits habitat for fish and wildlife.
“Healthy estuary and wetland habitats are rare in Puget Sound due to extensive development over the last century,” said Theresa Mitchell, WDFW environmental planner. “It’s exciting to realize there is this opportunity to restore important habitat in the Duckabush. This project has the potential to provide long-lasting benefits to fish, wildlife, and people.”
WDFW is working in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group on the proposed restoration project.
"This estuary restoration project has the potential to greatly improve conditions for multiple species of salmon, including endangered Hood Canal summer chum,” said Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group Executive Director Mendy Harlow. “We look forward to continuing our long-term efforts working with landowners in the Duckabush area to communicate the importance of this project to the Hood Canal ecosystem."
More information on the project, including an online comment form, is available on the WDFW website: https://wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/habitat-recovery/nearshore/conservation/projects/duckabush.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish, wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting, and other recreation opportunities.