Steigerwald Reconnection Project wins award

National association honors $32M project that improved local wildlife refuge, reconnected 965 acres of Columbia River floodplain

The National Association of Flood and Stormwater Management Agencies (NAFSMA) named the Steigerwald Reconnection Project as its first-place winner in the Small Size Population Innovative Project category at its annual awards ceremony in Seattle in July.

The NAFSMA judges committee called the Steigerwald Reconnection Project a “highly innovative and creative approach to floodplain management.”

The $32 million Steigerwald Reconnection Project, led by the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership (LCEP) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFW), created more than 100 acres of wetland, reforested 250 acres of riparian habitat, planted more than 500,000 trees and shrubs, reconnected 965 acres of Columbia River floodplain and added 1.1 miles of trails at the Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Washougal. 

The USFW and the LCEP closed the refuge to the public in June 2020 to begin work on the restoration project and reopened it in May 2022.