Several state agencies would work jointly to assess and recommend strategies to improve environmental health and reduce the threat of flooding along the Satsop River, under legislation passed late Wednesday by the Senate.

“This is a chance to address a growing flood threat while increasing the health of our salmon population,” said Sen. Kevin Van De Wege (D-Sequim). “Right now, the river doesn’t work well for salmon or for area property and infrastructure. If we’re going to reshape the river to address one problem, it only makes sense to address the other at the same time.”

Van De Wege amended House Bill 1579 in committee to broaden its goals. As amended, the bill calls for the development of flood plain management strategies to better protect agricultural lands, restore and enhance fish runs, and protect public infrastructure such as roads and bridges from flooding.

Because the Senate amended the bill before passing it, the legislation now goes back to the House for consideration in its amended form.