Aquatic Contracting (AC) was contracted by Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership in the fall of 2015 to restore the La Center Bottoms Wetlands. For decades, much of the La Center Bottoms area was privately owned and used for agriculture. ÿA man-made levee created a barrier between the East Fork of the Lewis River and the historic floodplain. The East Fork Lewis River is considered to be a high priority for salmon restoration and this project offered a great opportunity for successful habitat improvement. This project was successfully implemented despite several logistical challenges that included a late season construction schedule and heavy equipment access being limited to a single road through La Center Middle School. Even with the schedule and access restrictions, the following project elements were successfully completed: four new connection points were made between the East Fork Lewis River and the floodplain/wetlands, allowing for restored hydraulic function and seasonal inundation of the natural floodplain. Additionally, four bridges were installed over the new excavated connections to maintain public access. Stream channels were created from the river connections into the enhanced wetlands. Fish passage was also improved by removing an existing weir and culvert. Finally, AC revegetated the entire site with native plants and seed. Only two months after completion the project successfully survived a 100 year flood event.
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