07.16.21

House Appropriations Committee Advances Federal Funding to Support Duckabush Estuary Restoration Project

Kilmer Led Effort to Ensure Appropriations Committee Approved $1 Million to Support Power Line Relocation Project

Washington, DC – This week, the House Appropriations Committee advanced new federal funding championed by U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) to support the Mason PUD 1’s power line relocation project in conjunction with the Duckabush Estuary Restoration Project. The restoration project aims to reconnect the Duckabush River to neighboring floodplains and wetlands by modifying local roads, elevating Highway 101, and rerouting utilities. The $1 million in federal funding will assist Mason PUD 1’s efforts to relocate the distribution power line in the region, in coordination with the restoration project, in order to continue providing service to residences and businesses.

“In our region, we know that the Duckabush Estuary Restoration Project is a big deal when it comes to restoring water channels and enhancing critical habitat for fish and wildlife, including endangered salmon species. As the project moves forward, it’s important that the federal government stands strong as a partner and contributes to our efforts to restore this important habitat while maintaining necessary regional infrastructure,” said Rep. Kilmer. “That’s why I’m thrilled that the House Appropriations Committee has taken this important step to support Mason PUD’s efforts. I’ll keep working to get this measure signed into law.”

“We would like to thank Representative Kilmer and the House Appropriations Committee for advancing much-needed federal funding for Mason PUD 1’s power line relocation project. The Duckabush Utility Relocation project would have had devastating impacts on our electric budget and electric retail rates, had we been forced to fund it out of pocket. The utility relocation is part of a larger state and federal joint estuary restoration and highway relocation effort and our small utility has been wrapped into the scope. This support and funding will be instrumental in ensuring that the utilities are relocated is a safe, reliable and affordable manner,” said Mason PUD 1 General Manager Kristin Masteller.

“The Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group is appreciative of Congressman Kilmer's bold action to fund this much needed utility work that will result in not only helping our rural communities secure safe, efficient and reliable electricity, but also allow for habitat restoration that is essential to fish and wildlife populations that are so important to the vitality of the people of Hood Canal,” said Mendy Harlow, Executive Director of the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group (HCSEG), is pursuing the restoration project on the Duckabush River estuary in Jefferson County in order to reconnect the Duckabush River to neighboring floodplains and wetlands. This effort aims to improve the Duckabush estuary ecosystem to create more viable habitat for fish and wildlife and benefit the local community by reducing severe flooding events that occur at the mouth of the Duckabush river. The restoration project includes modifying local roads and elevating Highway 101 onto a bridge spanning the area where freshwater from the Duckabush River meets saltwater of Hood Canal.

Rep. Kilmer led the effort to secure funding for the project through the House Appropriations Committee’s Community Project Funding process.

The Community Project Funding request was supported by: Mason County, Jefferson County, Jefferson County Public Utility District, State Representative Drew MacEwen, State Senator Tim Sheldon, Skokomish Indian Tribe, Citizens and members of the Hood Canal Improvement Club, Washington Department of Transportation, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group