City Light receives 2019 Outstanding Stewards of America’s Waters award

The National Hydropower Association has recognized Seattle City Light with a 2019 Outstanding Stewards of America’s Waters award for the utility’s project to remove the Mill Pond Dam and restore the riverine ecosystems processes to pre-dam condition.

Seattle City Light won in the Recreational, Environmental & Historical Enhancement category, which recognizes projects that provide enhanced recreational opportunities for the general public; offer measurable benefits that mitigate, conserve, preserve or enhance the natural resources; or conserve historical aspects of hydropower facilities and their integration with the surrounding community.

Mill Pond Dam removal

Demolition of the Mill Pond Dam

With an innovative approach focused on restoring floodplain connectivity, system resiliency and recovery of native fish populations, City Light undertook the challenge of removing Mill Pond Dam, located in northern Pend Oreille County, to satisfy relicensing requirements for the utility’s Boundary Hydroelectric Project. The project restored connectivity to more than 46 miles of upstream habitat on Sullivan Creek. All told, the project included more than 85 acres of floodplain and riparian restoration, 9,000 linear feet of restored channel, and 7,000 linear feet of channel enhancement. Read more about City Light’s project here.

With the dam removal completed in 2018 and the restoration and associated improvements wrapping up this spring, the U.S. Forest Service aims to reopen the Mill Pond campground by Memorial Day weekend. The Mill Pond historic day use site and new trail system around the old pond site will open in summer 2019.

For more information about this project, please visit www.millponddam.com.