Congress Passes Cantwell Funding for Lake Tapps

$1.5 million approved by Congress will fund adequate lake levels, improve fish passage, help provide drinking water to region

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) announced today that her request for $1.5 million in funding for Lake Tapps cleared its final hurdle Monday night when the Senate approved it as part of the Energy and Water Appropriations bill. These funds will help develop sustainable water management at Lake Tapps, protect salmon habitat, and address the drinking water needs of growing eastside suburban populations.

"By investing in safe, reliable drinking water for our growing region, we will maintain current lake levels and improve fish passage," said Cantwell. "I’m committed to preserving Lake Tapps to make sure this valuable resource continues to serve our region’s many water needs."

Senator Cantwell has long partnered with citizens and federal, state, and local officials as a member of the Lake Tapps Task Force to maintain and improve this regional water asset. The funding Cantwell secured last night will allow the Corps of Engineers to complete the design for the reconstruction of a dam, and will help fund the continued operation of the existing facility.

"Lake Tapps represents two of our most valuable resources: water and recreation," said Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg. "The $1.5 million secured by Senator Cantwell and the hard work of the Lake Tapps Task Force and Pierce County will make sure Lake Tapps will continue to benefit our communities."

Cascade Water Alliance Chairman Grant Degginger said the region owes a debt of gratitude to Senator Cantwell for her vision and leadership on the issues of environmental protection and clean drinking water for the region.

"Cascade and its members deeply appreciate Senator Cantwell's longstanding vision and leadership in helping to develop a vital new water supply source for our region, protecting environmental resources and preserving the recreational opportunities at Lake Tapps," Degginger said. "Her successful work in securing these funds will assist the Puget Sound region in ensuring that there will be sufficient supplies of clean, safe drinking water for decades to come."

The $1.5 million in funding for Lake Tapps was included in the final Conference Report on the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act passed Monday night by the Senate. The House approved the Senate’s higher funding level as part of the Conference Report on November 9.