The Washington Department of Ecology has announced an agreement with a Langley family trust to repair shoreline and a wetland. (Washington State photo)

Langley family trust agrees to repair ecological damage in Washington State

The agreement dictates the timeline to have permits in place and a plan for the work.

The Washington State Department of Ecology says a Langley, B.C., family trust will make required environmental repairs to its waterfront property in that state.

Under a settlement agreement with the state government, the Teade DeVries Family Trust has agreed to restore a shoreline and wetland on Lake Osoyoos in Okanogan County, Washington.

In winter 2013, the trust installed a 500-foot long bulkhead and filled in a wetland on its 1.3 acre property, the Department of Ecology said in a news release about the agreement.

The trust must now remove the bulkhead and fill material, and restore the shoreline and wetlands of this fish-critical lake.

Bulkheads can reduce the amount of available food to juvenile steelhead because the structures can replace or crowd out vegetation providing important habitat for insects and other food sources. The structures can also increase the likelihood juvenile salmon and steelhead will be eaten by predatory fish because they normally hide in water too shallow for larger fish to enter.

“Bulkheads also encourage erosion in the lakebed because the energy that causes shore erosion gets redirected,” said Dale Bambrick, NOAA-Fisheries Columbia Basin Branch chief in Ellensburg. “As the lakebed erodes, water levels in the nearshore deepen, allowing larger predatory fish to pursue juvenile fish up to the water’s edge.”

The trust entered into the agreement after having appealed an administrative order from the state government in August 2015 to the state Pollution Control Hearings Board.

In lieu of a hearing and further litigation, the trust agreed to enter into a settlement agreement.

It has 90 days to acquire the necessary permits and approvals, then nine months to develop a restoration plan for the work which is on the American side of the lake which straddles the Canada-US border.

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