September 25, 2007

Senate Authorizes Oregon Water Projects

Over $95 Million Included in Water Resources Development Act

Washington DC -- U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Gordon Smith (R-OR) today announced the Senate passage of the Water Resources Development Act, which authorizes $96 million in federal funding for water projects in Oregon. The legislation now moves on to the White House for signing by the President.

"These funds will go to important infrastructure and watershed restoration projects across the state," said Wyden. "The long-term health of our environment is vital to the long-term health of Oregon's economy."

"These projects will help improve the quality of life in our rural areas by restoring healthy watersheds and meeting infrastructure needs," Smith said.

The Water Resources Development Act authorizes:

  • $35 million the Research and Development Program for Columbia and Snake River Salmon Survival, which aims to promote healthy wild salmon populations in both rivers.
  • $35 million for a wastewater infrastructure project in Albany that will improve habitat restoration in the area.
  • $15 million for restoration of the Upper Willamette River watershed from Albany to the headwaters of the Willamette. The project includes restoration of the millrace in Eugene.
  • $5 million for ecosystem and fish passage improvements in the state of Oregon focused on ensuring safe passage of native fish over dams and other obstructions.
  • $1 million for an erosion control project at Westport Beach along the Columbia River in Clatsop County.

The act also:

  • Authorizes the Confederated Umtilla Tribes to continue studying the Walla-Walla river basin for a planned reintroduction of salmon into the river.
  • Authorizes a transfer of land to the Lowell school district for the school district's use.
  • Authorizes land within Lowell to be considered for an affordable housing project by St. Vincent de Paul.
  • Authorizes studies of Johnson Creek in Gresham, Oregon to examine aquatic ecosystem restoration.