Press Releases

Jaime Herrera Beutler Secures Federal Funding for Cowlitz River Sediment Management

$870,000 allocated for sediment monitoring of the Lower Cowlitz River; will protect communities from potential flooding of homes, businesses

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Vancouver, September 14, 2020 | comments

Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler announced today that she’s secured $870,000 in federal funding for sediment monitoring and predesign work for the sediment retention structure (SRS) on the Lower Cowlitz River.

With Herrera Beutler’s steady advocation and support for the sediment management program, federal dollars have now been allocated to allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to conduct sediment monitoring of the Lower Cowlitz River which will take the financial burden off of local governments that have had to shoulder this federal responsibility in recent years.

This critical funding will provide information on the sediment retention structure’s (SRS) ability to protect Cowlitz County residents from devastating floods, resulting from the buildup of volcanic sediment in the river from the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens.

“Protecting Cowlitz County communities from potential devastating floods is of extreme importance, and in order to accomplish that goal, we have to adequately monitor the Lower Cowlitz River and buildup of sediment caused by the eruption of Mount St. Helens,” Herrera Beutler said. “I’m grateful to the City of Longview and Cowlitz County for their work to help me secure the funding necessary to help protect homes, businesses, and families from potential life-threatening floods.”

“On behalf of Cowlitz County, I want to thank Congresswoman Herrera Beutler and our entire Congressional delegation for their years long effort to secure this critical funding to ensure the federal government meets their obligation to protect Southwest Washington communities continuing to live with the aftermath of the 1980 Mt. St. Helens eruption from flooding,” Cowlitz County Commissioner Dennis Weber said. “Their collective work ensures that valuable local funding won’t have to be used to meet this federal responsibility and puts us on a path to receiving annual federal appropriations for sediment monitoring along the Cowlitz River.”

Fighting for sediment monitoring funding

Herrera Beutler has continued to be a vocal advocate on this issue, specifically requesting funding for sediment monitoring last year, pressing for answers as to why USACE and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) failed to include funding in the 2020 Corps work plan earlier this year, and working with OMB to approve the USACE request to reconfigure funding to address sediment monitoring and predesign work for the sediment retention structure.

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