Tacoma Power wins national award for Little Falls fish passage project

Tacoma Power received its fourth straight Outstanding Stewards of America’s Waters Award from the National Hydropower Association yesterday. The award, for Recreational, Environmental & Historical Enhancement, honors a pioneering fish passage project at Little Falls on the North Fork Skokomish River.

Tacoma Power collaborated with the Skokomish Indian Tribe and regulatory agencies to carve fish ladders into existing bedrock and conceptualize potential future modifications using innovative construction techniques. The project eases fish passage, preserves the beauty of the culturally significant location and helps secure salmon and steelhead populations.

The flow of the river at Little Falls is divided into two channels, both of which were previously identified as barriers to fish. Both channels are now open to fish passage.

“For the fourth year in a row, Tacoma has been recognized for its outstanding achievements that have provided extraordinary operational, recreational, historical, environmental, or educational value,” said Linda Church Ciocci, executive director of the National Hydropower Association. “Tacoma’s work this year to improve the passage and habitat for salmon in the Pacific Northwest while preserving the aesthetics of the site is another demonstration of their commitment to the community and ecosystem they serve.”

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