A long-awaited effort to potentially restore 280 acres of salmon habitat in the Skokomish River Valley got a big boost from the Army Corps of Engineers this week.

Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, USACE Commander and Chief of Engineers, signed the “Chief’s Report” for the Skokomish River Basin Ecosystem Restoration Project on Dec. 14.

The report stems from the Skokomish River Basin General Investigation feasibility study that has been taking place for nearly a decade. The Corps, Mason County, the Skokomish Tribe and other local, state, and federal agencies have been working to determine significant ecological degradation of the river basin and find solutions to these problems. Recommended projects include levee removal, large woody debris installation, wetland restoration at two sites and side-channel restoration.

The Chief’s Report will undergo additional review by the Assistant Secretary of the Army, Civil Works and the Office of Management and Budget. It will be formally sent to Congress following those reviews for future authorization. Final design and construction is contingent on Congress providing authority and funding.

If approved and funded, design would take place 2017-2019 and construction would take place 2019-2021.

The official announcement is here.