County awarded federal funding for Green Cove fish barrier removal

Public Works head recognized for ‘empowering teams’


“It sounds like a Public Works week.”

This was what Thurston County Manager Ramiro Chavez said after he updated the Board of County Commissioners on the two awards that the department recently received.

Chavez said the county and its public works team have been awarded $3 million in funding from the Department of Transportation National Culvert Removal, Replacement Grant.

As confirmed by an email from Senator Maria Cantwell to the board, the funding is for the replacement of the most downstream fish-blocking culvert in the Green Cove Creek (GCC) Watershed.

“This money is going to take us a long way to build this project, which is not just a need to the community, it will also open up an incredible fish habitat,” said Chavez.

The project will replace the culvert in GCC with a bridge.

The board recognized the efforts of the Public Works Department in working together to get the grant.

“It’s not a small undertaking to go for federal money and to qualify for this kind of funding at the federal level,” said Commissioner Carolina Mejia. “I know this was a huge undertaking by public works staff.”

‘Empowering teams’ award

Thurston’s Public Works Department Director Jennifer Walker has been recognized by the 2023 Washington Estate American Public Works Association with the “Empowering Teams” award.

“I think that this is really a department award,” said Walker as she paid tribute to her whole team. “I am very honored and privileged to be able to manage and direct such an amazing department.”

Chavez said the award recognizes public works teams who are making exceptional advancements to improve public works services.

“This is a reflection of your commitment to public service, to your commitment to provide our citizens and residents the best possible service related to public works,” said Ramiro.

The awarding ceremony will be in October of this year.


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  • JasonS

    This is great news, especially after the grant had been denied when it was applied for in 2021. However, it's too bad that the City and DNR didn't take similar steps to prevent last year's deforestation on Cooper Point Rd during which the logger falsely concluded that Green Cove Creek no longer existed there. This all amounts to one step forward and one step back and we should be doing better than that.

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