In August 2024, the Corps in partnership with the Five Sponsor Ports (Ports of Portland, Vancouver, Woodland, Kalama and Longview) will be releasing the DRAFT Lower Columbia River Dredged Material Management Plan Environmental Impacts Statement (LCR DMMP-EIS) for public review.  The LCR DMMP-EIS will be available online, at the Port offices and at local libraries (locations provided below).

Public Review Process: The public review process is required under NEPA (40 CFR 1501.7) and SEPA (RCW 43.21C.030(2)(c). It is one of the final steps in the environmental planning process where an EIS is prepared. The public review process is meant to:

• Allow for direct interaction between the public and the project development team,
• Inform the public of the findings of the Report, the status of the study, and to
• Provide a venue for the public to comment on the Report

Lower Columbia River Channel Maintenance Planning

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the lower Columbia River ports of Longview, Kalama, Woodland, Vancouver and Portland are conducting environmental reviews for a  Dredged Material Management Plan (DMMP)  to ensure that the Lower Columbia River Federal Navigation Channel is maintained and operational for another 20 years. The DMMP will include actions to manage dredged material while evaluating effects on the Lower Columbia environmental and socioeconomic resources. With this plan, the Corps, Sponsor Ports, federal and state agencies, other ports and stakeholders will better understand what needs to be done—and do it well—to ensure a reliable deep-draft navigation channel.

The Corps and Sponsor Ports will create an integrated DMMP Environmental Impact Statement (DMMP EIS) to evaluate environmental effects and plan alternatives (including ways to reduce dredging requirements) and will select the best plan for the continued maintenance based on this analysis.

This stretch of the Columbia River, which extends from river mile 3 at the Mouth of the Columbia River to river mile 105.5, near Vancouver, Washington, is part of the Columbia & Lower Willamette Federal Navigation Channel Project. In 2020, the Columbia River System transported over 51 million tons of cargo valued at roughly $22 billion (PNWA 2024), while the 5-year annual average (FY19 to FY23) cost to maintain the authorized channel dimensions was $60.9 million. A well-maintained channel supports regional and local jobs and provides significant and direct economic benefits.

Current Schedule

Coming soon:
Releasing draft document to public in August 2024. 

April 2022 Open Houses

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Columbia River non-federal Sponsors Ports (Longview, Kalama, Woodland, Vancouver, and Portland) hosted five virtual open house meetings April 26-28, 2022, to update the public on their 20-year plan for managing dredged material from the Lower Columbia River. Presentation materials, as well as a link to a recording of one of the meetings, are provided below:

Note: Each of the open house meetings contained the same information and content. The separate times and sessions were set up to accommodate people's varying availabilities.

Why Now?

Existing dredged material placement sites are nearing capacity and space is needed for the estimated 6 to 8 million cubic yards of material to be dredged each year. The process of updating the plan may also identify ways to improve engineering and environmental stewardship practices and recognize opportunities to adapt to other changes over time.

Getting to a Plan


In partnership with the Sponsor Ports and with input from other stakeholders and the public, the Corps will determine the best management plan for upland and in-water dredged material placement, evaluate ways to reduce dredging requirements and consider impacts to the natural resources of the lower Columbia. The Corps and Sponsor Ports will evaluate alternatives and environmental effects in a joint environmental impact statement and select the preferred management plan based on this analysis. This assessment and environmental review will determine:

  • Current and forecasted dredging needs.
  • If it is possible to extend the space available (capacity) of existing material placement sites.
  • Potential uses of dredged material to benefit the environment or other conditions, such as creation of fish and wildlife habitat and ecosystem restoration.
  • Combinations of new placement sites, taking into consideration different placement methods, locations and periods of use.
  • Actions necessary to implement the final plan in the coming years, such as revised permitting processes, acquisition of land for new placement sites, and improvement of current channel maintenance structures (pile dikes), among others.

With this information, the Corps will organize the best options into a preferred maintenance plan for public discussion and comment. Once complete, the plan will help define the next 20 years of channel maintenance on the Lower Columbia River.

NEPA & SEPA - The Environmental Policy Act Process

The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 is one of the nation’s oldest environmental laws that encourages federal agencies to make environmentally responsible decisions. NEPA requires all federal agencies to consider and disclose the environmental effects of their proposed actions in an environmental impact statement. The Citizen's Guide to NEPA explains this law and how to effectively submit your input.

Similarly, the Washington State Environmental Policy Act, known as SEPA, requires identification and evaluation of probable environmental impacts and mitigation measures related to agency decisions.

To satisfy the requirements of NEPA and SEPA, the Corps and Sponsor Ports will be jointly preparing an integrated EIS for the Plan. The Washington Sponsor Ports will be co-lead agencies under SEPA, with the Port of Longview serving as the nominal SEPA lead agency for purposes of SEPA compliance.

Collecting the right level of information at the right time is important to developing this plan. This requires early and frequent engagement of all affected federal, state and local agencies, affected Native American Tribes, and interested groups and individuals.

Examples of areas for evaluation in the EIS include:

Environmental Justice 
Air Quality
Water Quality
Biological Environment
Land Use
Tribal, Historic and Cultural Resources




Waterways Annual Dredging and Resource Agency Coordination Meeting Held

Waterways Maintenance held their annual meeting 28 April.  Links to the presentations and the meeting video:  

Meeting Video:


  • Annual dredging and resource agency coordination meeting:  PDF Link
  • 2020 Dredging season summary, Portland District: 2021 Annual dredging coordination meeting: PDF Link
  • FY21 Navigation work, Portland District: 2021 Annual dredging coordination meeting:  PDF Link
  • Woodland Island ecosystem restoration, beneficial use of dredged material: 2021 Annual dredging coordination meeting: PDF Link
  • Sediment Quality Team update: Completed (FY19/20), ongoing and planned activities (FY21): 2021 Annual dredging coordination meeting:  PDF Link