CATHLAMET — Wahkiakum County Public Works has been awarded a Salmon Program grant of $123,500 by the state Salmon Recovery Funding Board?(SRFB).

The Wahkiakum County Public Works Department will use this grant to design a bridge to replace a fish-blocking culvert and plant the banks of Clear Creek, a tributary of the Elochoman River. The bridge will replace an undersized steel culvert that carries Clear Creek under the Elochoman Valley Road. In addition, the county plans to plant native trees in the area to provide shade and other habitat benefits. The county also has received grants to realign the road approaches to the bridge to make them safer for motorists. The county will contribute $6,500. 

Stream survey work carried out by local high school students confirmed the habitat quality of Clear Creek and was instrumental in the success of obtaining grant funds. Ninty-four applications were submitted for consideration in the Salmon Program and each project went through an evaluation process prior to being recommended for funding. 

Funding for the Salmon Program comes from funds administered by NOAA Fisheries. Wahkiakum County Public Works will leverage local contributions totaling $6,500 with grant monies to implement the project. Total estimated project cost is $130,000. SRFB is the state’s administrator of the grant program. 

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