Bear River Estuary Restoration Project
After many years of planning, design and preparation the Bear River Estuary Restoration Project at Willapa National Wildlife Refuge began in July of 2012. In the first phase of the project, the Lewis Unit impoundment will be restored to historic estuarine conditions, increasing open water, intertidal flats, and salt marsh habitat by 160 acres. Restoration will benefit a diverse array of species including chum and Chinook salmon, shorebirds, waterfowl and other migratory birds, as well as contribute to the overall health of Willapa Bay. Learn more about the importance of estuaries.
The goal of habitat restoration is to help rebuild a healthy, functioning natural system. Dike removal is only the first step in the restoration process. Restored sites generally take five years or longer to develop full wetland plant cover and continue to transform for many more years.
We plan to begin Phase 2 during the summer of 2013. No schedule has been set for Phases 3 and 4. They will be implemented as funding permits.
The Lewis Unit is closed to public access. Riekkola and Porter Point Units are open. Please note use closures between October 13, 2012 and January 27, 2013, Riekkola and Porter Point Units are open:
Restoration work is on-going. We invite you to check back for project reports and updates.