Press Releases

Jaime Herrera Beutler Secures Key Committee Approval for Columbia and Cowlitz River Infrastructure Projects

Over $1.7 million in funding for Cowlitz River sediment monitoring and Columbia River turning basin improvement projects included in committee-approved spending plan

Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler announced today she has secured key federal funding for infrastructure projects on the Columbia and Cowlitz Rivers in a spending plan advanced by the U.S. House Appropriations Committee.

As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, Herrera Beutler advocated for the inclusion of two Southwest Washington community funding priorities in the FY23 Energy and Water Subcommittee Appropriations bill: sediment monitoring of the Lower Cowlitz River, and a turning basin navigation improvement project on the Columbia River.

The bill now awaits approval from the full U.S. House of Representatives.

“Maintaining our waterways in Southwest Washington is both vital to the health of our economy and also protects families, homes, and businesses safe from potentially devastating floods,” Herrera Beutler said. “I was pleased to successfully advocate for these community-supported requests to fund crucial sediment monitoring efforts that support flood prevention on the Lower Cowlitz River and the establishment of two turning basin improvement projects on the Columbia River that support shipping traffic vital to our region’s economy.”

“As Mayor of Longview, I wish to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to Congresswoman Herrera Beutler for her support and advocacy of the Community Project Funding requests for Sediment Monitoring and Turning Basins for the greater Cowlitz County Southwest Washington region. Both projects are essential to the economic prosperity and vitality of our community and its citizens and will keep our region safe, healthy, and vibrant for years to come,” Mayor of Longview MaryAlice Wallis said.

“This is a tremendously important investment for the residents of Castle Rock to ensure we track and monitor river sediment and the corresponding flood risk to the city and other downstream residents,” Mayor of Castle Rock Paul Helenberg said.

“The City of Kalama expresses its ongoing appreciation for the work that Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler does for Southwest Washington. The Community Funding Request for Sediment Monitoring on the Toutle and Cowlitz Rivers is critical for preventing disaster within major population centers of Cowlitz County. Closer to home Representative Herrera Beutler’s efforts supporting the Community Funding Request for Turning Basins on the Columbia River are critical to the economic development for our ports and the cities, like Kalama Washington, which rely on our ports to provide a majority of the jobs within the community,” Kalama City Manager Adam Smee said.

“Our region is fortunate to have a Congressional delegation that understands the critical role the Columbia River plays in international trade, commerce and the local economy. Investments in river infrastructure, like the turning basins, ensure the Port of Longview can continue to safely move commerce to international markets and drive the local economy for decades to come. The Port greatly appreciates Congresswoman Herrera Beutler, Senator Murray and Senator Cantwell for their ongoing efforts to support Ports on the Lower Columbia River,” Port of Longview CEO Dan Stahl said.

Project funding details:

Sediment monitoring of the Lower Cowlitz River - $856,000

  • This federal funding will allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to perform operations and maintenance work, as well as collect information on Lower Cowlitz River water levels and the sediment retention structure’s ability to protect Cowlitz County residents from potentially devastating floods, resulting from the buildup of volcanic sediment in the river from the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens.

Turning basin navigation improvement project on the Columbia River - $900,000

  • This funding will go toward a Herrera Beutler authored provision that authorized a feasibility study for a turning basin on the Columbia River near Kalama, known as the Lower Martin Bar, and the improvement of a turning basin near Longview. The addition of the turning basin near the Lower Martin Bar and improvements to the existing turning basin will increase cargo volume capacity and spur economic development in the region.