The Dungeness River Coalition recently sent a video to state officials in Olympia to help demonstrate the benefits of its proposed Dungeness Off-Channel Reservoir project. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

The Dungeness River Coalition recently sent a video to state officials in Olympia to help demonstrate the benefits of its proposed Dungeness Off-Channel Reservoir project. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Dungeness River Coalition sends video to lawmakers considering land transfer

SEQUIM — The Dungeness River Coalition recently sent a film to state officials in Olympia to illustrate a proposed project before final legislative budgets are passed.

The coalition released a seven-minute video called “Collaborative Solutions: Dungeness Off-Channel Reservoir” demonstrating the benefits and operations of the proposed Dungeness Off-Channel Reservoir project, it announced in a March press release.

The video recently was delivered to the state Legislature in Olympia, where the Senate Ways and Means Committee and House Capital Budget Committee are considering a transfer of state-owned land and grant funding to support the project.

“It’s an effective tool to be able to describe what some of the challenges are,” said Jason Hatch, project manager for Washington Water Trust and part of the Dungeness River Coalition.

Hatch explained the video is a visual way to tell the coalition’s story.

“It’s to demonstrate that this unique coalition of stakeholders has come together to create and identify solutions of the water challenges in the Dungeness,” he said.

The Dungeness River stakeholders include the Dungeness Water Users Association of irrigators, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, Washington Water Trust, Clallam Conservation District, city of Sequim, Clallam County and state Department of Ecology.

The video introduced coalition members, outlined problems the project would address and demonstrated how the reservoir would benefit the local farm economy, tribal community, residents and visitors of Sequim.

The $24 million to $35 million Dungeness Off-Channel Reservoir would include a new 88-acre reservoir along the Dungeness River inside a proposed 320-acre Clallam County park off River Road in Sequim.

The proposed project’s purpose is to store water in the winter and spring to help with river flow late in the irrigation season, contain possible flooding during heavy rains and help endangered salmon returning to spawn.

The news release stated the film illustrated benefits of the project such as a 40 percent improvement in stream flows for ESA-listed salmon and steelhead, while securing late-season irrigation water for area farmers in low water years and groundwater aquifer recharge.

The coalition is waiting for a possible transfer of several hundred acres of state-owned land from the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) it would use to provide an ideal place for the project.

“The coalition is hopeful for the successful transfer of the DNR parcel, requested by Clallam County,” the news release stated.

“DNR has expressed support for this transfer, and it is currently under consideration with the state Legislature on the Senate Ways and Means Committee and the House Capital Budget Committee.”

David Garlington, Sequim public works director, said he is hoping the transfer will happen during this legislative session.

He explained the coalition wanted to “get the video out so people in the legislative community are aware of this need.”

Garlington said the coalition should hear a decision on the transfer of the DNR parcel by June as the Senate and House are putting together a capital budget.

Getting the property for the project is the first step, he explained, and if the transfer of land is not approved this legislative session, he said the coalition can look for other sources of revenue.

“If it doesn’t [get approved], it doesn’t mean it’s a no go,” Garlington said. An alternative option could be the coalition purchases property from the DNR so it can move forward and find a site for the project.

The news release also said the coalition is pursuing grant funding for property acquisition and final design from the state Floodplains by Design program, the Salmon Recovery Funding Board and the Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration Fund.

A FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant also was submitted to cover stormwater capture elements of the project.

For more information about this video or the Dungeness Off-Channel Reservoir project, visit www.washingtonwatertrust.org/off-channel-reservoir-proposal.

________

Erin Hawkins is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach her at ehawkins@sequimgazette.com.

More in News

Andrea Raymor, left, and Christine Cray, former owners of the Spruce Goose Cafe on Airport Road in Port Townsend, share a moment with the new owners of the cafe in the background, Ashley Owen, left, Vanessa McKenney, middle, and sister Kathryn McKenney during a break between cooking and waitressing. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)
Spruce Goose keeps new ownership in Port Townsend

Waitresses, cook purchase business, keep local institution

Clallam Economic Development Council seeking consulting funding

High-wage industrial jobs sought as long-term goal

Jefferson County Historical Society board president Ann Welch, lef,) and director of development and communications Alexandra Toombs at the Museum of Art + History. (Elijah Sussman/Peninsula Daily News)
Jefferson County history museum renovating space

Society plans to rotate exhibits annually

Motorcycle rider airlifted after collision with deer

A motorcycle rider was airlifted to a Seattle hospital after… Continue reading

Sequim Bay closed to shellfish harvest

Beaches in Sequim Bay have been closed for recreational shellfish… Continue reading

Project 10 to help women’s wardrobes

United Way event set for Aug. 8 in Sequim

Bernadette Shein helps answer quilt questions for visitors of the Sunbonnet Sue Quilt Club’s annual quilt show in 2023. This year, the event will move to Trinity United Methodist Church and expand to two days, Friday and Saturday. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Quilt show gets new venue, expands to two-day event

Raffle quilts benefit club, scholarship fund

Olympic Medical Center to host community forum

Olympic Medical Center will host a virtual-only community forum… Continue reading

Weekly flight operations scheduled

There will be field carrier landing practice operations for aircraft… Continue reading

Clallam 2 Fire-Rescue
Firefighters respond to a fire near the ridge south of Port Angeles in the area known as the “Six Pack.”
UPDATE: Wildfire south of Port Angeles contained

Bulldozer, helicopter help firefighting efforts

State Senate hopefuls differ on pathways

Chapman, Kelbon make case for 24th District