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S'side Port nets $100,000 for local wetlands study

Congressman Doc Hastings announced last week that the Port of Sunnyside will receive a federal $100,000 grant.

Grant money will be used to complete an Army Corps of Engineers feasibility study on the Port of Sunnyside's wetlands habitat project.

"The Yakima River, fish, wildlife and the local economy stand to benefit from this common sense project," said Hastings.

The project is aimed at supplying local businesses, farmers and agriculture producers with a wastewater system that filters water into the Yakima River.

"We're excited and grateful to Doc Hastings and his staff," said Port Manager Amber Hansen. "This helps us take the next steps in finishing the feasiblity study."

Hansen said she is hopeful the study can be completed by the middle of next year.

"Hopefully we can put some ideas into what the wetlands will look like so we can start looking for funding of the project," she added.

The Port owns 220 acres that would be used to develop a wetlands habitat as part of the treatment process.

Wetlands would benefit fish, wildlife and help moderate water temperatures. Over 1,500 full-time jobs are dependent upon the Port's wastewater treatment facility.

This is the second year in a row that Hastings has added federal funding to support the feasibility study.

The $100,000 was included in the final Fiscal Year 2006 Energy and Water Appropriations bill, which has been approved by the House of Representatives.

The final bill now moves to the Senate for a vote before it can be sent to the White House to be signed into law.

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