Shoalwater Bay Dune Restoration Project, Tokeland WA

Shoalwater Bay Erosion and Ecosystem Restoration

The Shoalwater Bay Indian Reservation is located on the north shore of Willapa Bay in Pacific County, 28 miles north of the mouth of the Columbia River. Severe storms in 1999, 2006, and 2007 flooded tribal lands and facilities. The reservation has been under severe storm damage threat due to erosion of the barrier dune on Graveyard Spit, which provided effective storm protection to the entire reservation, including the 700-acre subsistence intertidal habitat in the North Cove embayment. The result has been infilling of the habitat with sand and debris, seriously degrading the intertidal habitat that the Tribe relied upon for subsistence fishing and shellfish gathering and as a source of native plants for religious and ceremonial uses.

On December 29, 2009, the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) approved the plan recommended in the July 2009 final decision document and final environmental assessment. Full plans and specifications were completed by the Corps of Engineers. A Memorandum of Agreement was executed in September 2010 at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters between the Department of the Army and the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe. In September 2011, a construction contract was awarded to Ross Island Sand and Gravel and work started in 2012. Berm construction was completed in 2013. The $7.5 million project restored a sand dune on Graveyard Spit, which provides protection for the Shoalwater Indian Reservation. The project will significantly reduce coastal erosion and the risk to the Shoalwater Reservation from flooding and coastal storm damage.