Ecology awards Chelan County $35,000 for cleanup of Wenatchee River debris

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The Chelan County Natural Resources Department has received a $35,000 grant from the state for community-based cleanup of Wenatchee River debris.

The project will create a detailed inventory of metallic, concrete and other debris in the river where cleanup activities will then be focused.

The state Department of Ecology grant also will promote celebration of the cleanup through river fest-style community events.

DOE awarded close to $640,000 in grants across the state for 15 projects to improve water quality and the natural environment.

The Cascade Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group received $43,000 for riverbank protection and riparian planting at Mack Lloyd Park in Winthrop and plant maintenance at Mazama and Homestream Parks.

In addition, the money will help develop a multi-year high school stewardship project at Lower Sleepy Hollow Preserve.

The grants are through DOE’s Terry Husseman Account, which is is funded by payments from penalties the department issues for violations of the state Water Pollution Control Act.

“We evaluated 22 different project proposals worth nearly $962,116. Our grants staff weighed each proposal’s expected environmental benefits, local support and involvement, budget and cost effectiveness, readiness to proceed, and project schedule,” DOE said in a press release. Two new evaluation metrics – environmental justice and climate change – were added to the criteria this year.”