Writing the Chehalis Basin Management Plan
The Chehalis Basin Partnership became a Planning Unit through an “Intergovernmental Agreement” in August 1998 for the purposes of watershed assessment, planning and management.
“This Agreement shall designate a planning unit and a lead agency for purposes of assessing and managing the water resources of the Chehalis River Basin and to pursue strategies within the Chehalis River Basin which include the key elements of flood reduction, fisheries, recreation, watery quality and water quantity and examine their relationship to economic health and sustainability.”
Shortly after its formation, the CBP adopted Bylaws. The adoption of an Operating Procedures Manual followed on September 24, 2004. This process culminated in the release of the Chehalis Basin Watershed Management Plan, in April 2004.
Implementing the Chehalis Basin Management Plan
Education and Public Involvement. The Chehalis Basin Partnership helped start two Stream Teams in the Chehalis Basin. In 2009, partners in the upper basin started the Centralia Stream Team. In 2010, the Team took on a project that helped Centralia High School install its first Rain Garden. Rain gardens take advantage of native plants to filter rain water and clean it before it gets into local streams.
Also in 2009, partners in the lower basin started the Grays Harbor Stream Team. The team has taken on tree planting, stream clean-ups, water quality monitoring, and a major restoration project. These teams are still up and running and you can learn about them in the “Get Involved” section.
From 2010 to 2013, the Grays Harbor Stream Team helped local high school student Jarred Figlar Barnes complete a series of salmon habitat restoration projects on his home stream, McDonald Creek. Jarred is pictured at right near McDonald creek during project construction.
The Partnership has sought to increase available information about water resources in the Chehalis Basin. The first step in this direction was to learn more about the groundwater resources in the Chehalis Basin. In 2008, the Partnership developed a project with the US Geological Survey to study groundwater in the Basin. The project located key gaining and losing reaches in the Chehalis river, that is where groundwater feeds the river and vice-versa. Learn more on the Water Quantity page of this website.
From 2006 to 2009, the Partnership undertook water quality monitoring in tributary streams and rivers. The project was supported by a grant from the Department of Ecology and data were gathered by the Chehalis Tribe staff. Other Partnership members provided important conservation education to Basin communities. Project findings in 2007 included identification of an overall improvement in water quality. The 2009 “State of the River” report concluded specific needs for water quality improvement need to be evaluated on a site-specific basis. You can learn more in the Water Quality section of this website.
History: From 1998 to Present!
1997: First meeting of the Chehalis River Council, which would later become the Chehalis Basin Partnership
1998: The Partnership became a WRIA Planning Unit for the purposes of watershed assessment, planning and management
2004: Chehalis Basin Watershed Management Plan published
2005: 1st Annual Chehalis Watershed Festival held in Aberdeen
2009: Centralia Stream Team formed
2009: Grays Harbor Stream Team formed
2011: Detailed Implementation Plan published
Ongoing: The Chehalis Basin Partnership is working to achieve the vision laid out the Chehalis Watershed Management Plan through member organizations and volunteer efforts around the basin.