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The Impact – Different Approaches to the Chehalis River Flood Problem

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This week on The Impact we look at two different approaches to the problem of severe flooding in the Chehalis River Basin.

There are state and local government organizations working to address the challenges posed by catastrophic flooding throughout the Chehalis River Basin. At the same time, stakeholders are faced with finding ways to address the decline of Chinook salmon and the associated loss of aquatic habitat in the region.

The Office of Chehalis Basin within the Washington State Department of Ecology was created to support the efforts of the Chehalis Basin Board, which represents city, county, tribal, environmental, and economic stakeholders throughout the region.

There are also local flood control agencies, such as the Chehalis River Basin Flood Control Zone District. That organization is directing the effort to construct a flood retention dam near the headwaters of the Chehalis River.

An alternate strategy would involve a series of local flood mitigation projects with an emphasis on the properties in the upper river basin. The Local Actions Non-Dam or LAND Alternative could involve large construction projects to redesign infrastructure in a way that conveys floodwater around highly developed areas as well as residential floodproofing projects or buyouts for interested homeowners in flood prone areas.

This episode features interviews with: Andrea McNamara Doyle , Director of the Office of Chehalis Basin; Glen Connelly, Natural Resources Director for the Chehalis Tribe; and Erik Martin, Administrator of the Chehalis River Basin Flood Control Zone District.

Listen to the Podcast here: