For years, the Clover Island riverfront has been eroding threatening many species of fish but now the Port of Kennewick and the U.S Army Corps of Engineers are teaming up to restore the shore in a more environmentally friendly way while bringing the riverfront view closer to you.
A great deal of Clover Island's shoreline is still covered in concrete rubble put there decades ago by local construction companies.
”At the end of the day if you had a short load of concrete left over at the end of a construction project the common act was to go down and just dump that along the shoreline," CEO of the Port of Kennewick Tana Inglima said.
This was an acceptable means of stabilization for the Clover Island shoreline in the 50's and 60's, however, Inglima says this created an even bigger issue for endangered fish like Columbia River spring Chinook salmon, Steelhead and Bull trout.
“It's now become undercut and creates a habitat for the bass which feed on the young salmonids, so it's not a good environment for the endangered species," Inglima added.
Since 2008, Clover Island has been in line for federal ecosystem restoration funding.
However, now the port has leveraged enough federal and local dollars to fund a more environmentally friendly place for fish, and a new riverfront pathway for Tri-City residents to enjoy.
"We are working with the Corps of Engineers on the kind of phase two of the shoreline project, hoping that they can work with us to extend the public pathway from the light house where it is now and extend that trail all along the north side," Inglima continued.
The trail has been a highly-desired improvement by Tri-City residents who wanted more access to the shore.
863 feet of the walkway along the Columbia has already been completed after the city of Kennewick and the state's joint finacial effort made it a reality.
Just last week, the port demolished their old office building located on Clover Island to help make it easier for the U.S Army Corps of Engineers to access the shoreline.
The port says the new project will enhance tourism and attract businesses to Clover Island.
The U.S Army Corps of Engineers have already deemed the project as feasibile and will finacially back the effort.
The state also granted half a million dollars towards this effort.
Spring of 2019 is the estimated timeline of completion for the entire project as of now.
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