The public is invited to review and comment on a draft supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for a proposed 38-acre restoration project on the Duckabush River estuary in Jefferson County. Comments can be provided online or by mail from Jan. 21 to Feb. 20, 2020.

People can learn about the project’s environmental impacts and provide written or oral comments at a public open house on Saturday, Feb. 8 from 10:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Brinnon School, 46 Schoolhouse Rd., Brinnon, WA.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group (HCSEG), is proposing a project that would reconnect the Duckabush River to neighboring floodplains and wetlands. The project would remove fill, modify local roads, and elevate Highway 101 onto a bridge spanning the area where freshwater from the Duckabush River meets saltwater of Hood Canal.

Duckabush Estuary Restoration

WDFW is leading state environmental review in accordance with the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). As part of that review, WDFW is developing a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) that identifies possible environmental impacts and avoidance, minimization, and mitigation options that were not identified in previous environmental documents for the project.

The study area shoreline has a length of approximately 2,500 miles. The basin is roughly 80 percent land and 20 percent water. The total water area covers nearly 3,090 square miles at mean high water.
The study area shoreline has a length of approximately 2,500 miles. The basin is roughly 80 percent land and 20 percent water. The total water area covers nearly 3,090 square miles at mean high water.

“WDFW selected four elements of the environment for analysis in this Draft SEIS based on interest during a public scoping process: water; plants and animals; transportation; and noise,” said Theresa Mitchell, WDFW environmental planner. “Review of this draft by the public and decision-makers allows the opportunity to provide input into the final SEIS. A final SEIS will be issued in mid-2020 that will include responses to comments received on this draft SEIS.”

The Duckabush River estuary is impacted by fill, dikes, and road infrastructure, which blocks water channels and limits critical habitat for fish and wildlife, including endangered salmon species.

More information on the project is available on the WDFW website at: https://wdfw.wa.gov/duckabush.  Written comments can be mailed to:

Lisa Wood, SEPA/NEPA Coordinator
WDFW Habitat Program, Protection Division
P.O. Box 43200
Olympia, WA 98504-3200

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.