Overhauling Clover Island

Overhauling Clover Island »Play Video
KENNEWICK, Wash. - The overhaul of Clover Island is getting to be more of a reality. The Port of Kennewick is ready to take the first steps towards repairing an eroding shoreline and bring tourists to the site.

Clover Island was well over a hundred acres of land smack in the middle of the Columbia River back in 1942.

A decade later, it was whittled down to a 16-acre island carved out of the land left from intentional flooding, the shoreline scraped together using concrete to stop erosion.

You can see what looks like concrete flowing into the river. Back in the day, contractors were encouraged to come dump their leftover cement to help add support.

That proved to be harmful to the environment and life-cycle of the island.
The Port of Kennewick started overhauling the shoreline years ago but ran out of grant money. Only one side was finished, where the lighthouse sits.

Tana Bader-Inglima with the Port of Kennewick said, "The Columbia River is one of our greatest assets, and we've kind of turned our back for many years on that. People are demanding better and improved access."

With the help of the Army Corps of Engineers, they may get it. They will spend six figures on a study to determine long-term changes.

A new path will surround the island. The jagged, rough shoreline will be removed. They'll replace the old concrete with natural rock and plants. It's a move to protect the wildlife, stop further depletion of the island and open up the river for recreational use.

"I would really love to have a place to put in a kayak and just kayak up and down the river, or canoe if I'm feeling kind of lazy," said Sanden Sheldon.

He, like many others, enjoys the island as is, but wants more.

Port officials say it's one of the main reasons why the Corps wants to partner up.

Bader-Inglima said, "People are using that piece of the shoreline, and they're saying, 'What's next?'"

They'll be making a worthwhile investment for the future of Clover Island.

It will take about a year to compete the study. Once that is done, the port will be eligible for federal grants to help pay for the improvements suggested.