Army Corps of Engineers reconstructing Willapa dune
In an effort to preserve Native American cultural lands, mitigate flood risks and improve coastal habitat for a threatened species, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District, is reconstructing a sand dune in Willapa Bay near the Shoalwater Bay Indian Reservation.
“Erosion has been destroying the sand spit for years and now it’s threatening the Shoalwater Reservation, including a culturally and ecologically significant wetland area,” said Joshua Jackson, Corps’ project manager for the restoration effort.
Construction starts July 30 on the $7.5 million federally-funded dune restoration project to provide coastal storm damage protection and prevent wetland erosion. The project will also create and maintain habitat for the endangered Pacific Coast western snowy plover. Initially, construction was set to begin July 16, but it was delayed because of a successful plover nesting pair this year, producing three baby chicks.
This portion of the two-phase dune restoration project is expected to be complete by late October. The next phase, ecosystem restoration, is scheduled to begin in 2014, allowing time for earthwork to settle.