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Environmental and Cultural Resources Branch (ECRB)

The Seattle District's Environmental and Cultural Resources Branch (ECRB) provides technical advice and environmental leadership on District projects such as ecosystem restoration, flood control, navigation, dam and lock operations, military construction, environmental remediation, and emergency management. We also ensure that Seattle District projects comply with existing environmental laws and policies. Our staff includes national and regional experts in fisheries and wildlife management, wetland science, restoration ecology, and cultural resource management. This web site is intended to describe our projects, provide access to the documents we produce, and foster communication between the Corps and the public.

Cultural Resources
The projects undertaken by the Seattle District encounter a wide variety of historic properties, from 80 year old dairy farms in Tukwila to 8,000 year old hunting camps in the Cascade foothills.  ECRB is staffed with historic and prehistoric archaeologists and architectural historians responsible for protecting and managing this diverse array of archaeological sites, historic structures, and traditional cultural properties.  Tasks range from a relatively simple half-day field visit to confirm the presence or absence of historic properties at the site of a culvert replacement, to the more complex oversight of the District's participation in a multi-year, multi-million dollar program to manage historic properties at hydropower projects throughout the Columbia River basin, in collaboration with several Federal agencies, states and Indian tribes.

Technical Center of Expertise, Preservation of Historic Structures and Buildings 
Housed within the Environmental and Cultural Resources Branch, the TCX works collaboratively with the Cultural Resources Section. The TCX provides leadership to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers community, federal agencies, and Department of Defense facilities for the treatment and management of historic structures. As a center for best practices, the program offers technical excellence and outstanding staffing credentials to guide resource personnel and property managers in making good decisions for a wide range of historic properties, including buildings, objects, vessels, landscapes, and civil works projects. Services include the development of technical information, and specialized training for historic property managers. Expertise represented by the TCX includes architectural history, architecture, landscape architecture, and historical archaeology.

Wildife and Fisheries
The Environmental Resources Section of the Seattle District provides leadership and direction for the preservation and conservation of all our wildlife resources. In all projects, wildlife biologists play an integral role in developing strategies and alternatives with the sole purpose of representing the interests of wildlife and their associated habitats.

The Chittenden Locks facilities include a fish ladder that passes adult salmon and steelhead upstream, and juvenile fish downstream. The Locks also has a surface collection (smolt flumes) that passes salmon and steelhead smolt downstream. Efforts at optimizing fish passage, to improve survival of juvenile fish and to reduce the vulnerability of adult fish, are ongoing. At Mud Mountain Dam adult salmon and other fish are moved upstream using a trap-and-haulsystem. We have also improved downstream passage through the dam itself. In Montana and Idaho, we are working to restore endangered Kootenai River white sturgeon. On the Pend Oreille River and Pend Oreille Lake in Idaho, we are looking at movement of bull trout to determine possible need for passage at Albeni Falls Dam. We have also been operating Albeni Falls Dam to provide winter pool levels that benefit kokanee spawning access around the Lake Pend Oreille shoreline.