State wants input from community on fish and flood solutions in Chehalis Basin

  • Tue Feb 16th, 2021 3:30pm
  • News

The second of three chances to weigh in on the state Office of Chehalis Basin’s flood damage reduction plan will take place Wednesday.

The 6-8 p.m. meeting will provide an update on the actions under consideration to restore aquatic species habitat and reduce flood damages for communities as part of the Chehalis Basin Strategy, an effort involving multiple local and state governmental agencies, tribal government as well as environmental and business interests in the Chehalis Basin.

This is the second of three public meetings since Gov. Jay Inslee requested that the Chehalis Basin Board examine a potential basin-wide approach to flood damage reduction that does not include a dam, while also further evaluating ways to reduce or mitigate negative impacts associated with the proposed dam. The governor, tribes and environmental groups have voiced their opposition to a dam as part of the overall strategy.

The meeting is an opportunity for the public, particularly Chehalis Basin residents, to directly weigh in on the strategy’s development ahead of the board’s recommendations on which actions to include as part of the long-term strategy. The board’s recommendations are expected by the end of March.

The Chehalis Basin Strategy is a long-term plan designed to meet two of the Basin’s greatest challenges — the decline of salmon and other aquatic species and the likelihood that catastrophic flooding will once again affect the basin.

“This is an opportunity for basin residents and others to hear the latest information directly from our team, get answers to their questions, and directly shape decisions that could impact our daily lives and certainly the future health of the region,” said Office of Chehalis Basin Director Andrea McNamara Doyle.

To register for the Feb. 17 meeting, go to ChehalisBasinStrategy.com.

The third and final meeting before the board makes its recommendation on the long-term strategy will take place virtually on Tuesday, March 9. The public will have the opportunity to learn about the options and weigh in on the Board’s potential recommendations before they’re shared broadly.

A meeting recording will be distributed for later viewing for those who are unable to attend. Chehalis Basin residents and others may also contact the office directly via email, info@chehalisbasinstrategy.com; phone, 360-407-6000; or mail, Office of Chehalis Basin, Washington Department of Ecology, 300 Desmond Drive SE, Lacey, WA 98503.