Migratory Waterfowl Rejoice at the Willapa Wetland Restoration Project
Migratory Waterfowl Rejoice at the Willapa Wetland Restoration
Excavation on the vast freshwater wetland project was monitored for
cultural resources. To the right of the excavator are Julie Wilt and
Christina Aucutt, with Applied Archaeological Research, Inc. Photo by
Near South Bend in
Enhance 109 acres of
diked former pasture by constructing three 20 acre freshwater wetlands.
Conservation Service, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Washington
Department of Transportation, Ducks Unlimited (DU).
as a part of a larger estuary restoration project, this pasture was developed
into freshwater wetland habitat in response to input from the local community
which valued the existing freshwater wetland habitat enclosed within the Willapa
River dike. Challenges which faced the project included designing a freshwater
wetland habitat that would not also increase the mosquito population in the
nearby town of South Bend which was already plagued by mosquitoes.
The project was
constructed through the Wetland Reserve Program (WRP). Freshwater ponds were
designed so that the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife could drain the
ponds completely for mosquito control should monitoring indicate that this
action was warranted. In the fall of 2005 tidegates were installed under Highway
101 by NRCS and the WSDOT. The freshwater wetlands are under construction this
summer and should be completed by early September.
This project has
been notable in its complexity due to the number of agencies involved. Greg
Fisher worked tirelessly with multiple agencies to plan and permit this project,
laying the foundation for its completion eight years later.
This project when
completed will be a portion of the larger ‘Willapa Project’ which includes a
cross dike constructed in 2006, another freshwater wetland project completed in
2007 and which will include an estuary restoration project to be completed in
the future. The creation of these freshwater wetlands will increase the
diversity of wetland habitats available in the easement area.
Longview Field Office, (360)