Update: Locks to close fish ladder for major renovations, Corps Foundation asking public for donations to help

Update: We wanted to clear up a few things regarding the funding for the new viewing area: the groups asking for donations are the Corps Foundation, which is the Official Non-profit of America’s Lakes and Waterways, and Discover Your Northwest, which is a local non-profit that manages the donations. Those two groups are responsible for raising their own funds to renovate the viewing area of the fish ladder. The US Army Corps of Engineers is a federal agency and will not be doing the renovations — as a rule, they cannot accept money for this type of work.

Most funding that the Corps of Engineers receives from the federal government for the Locks is for operations and maintenance — improving the viewing area of the fish ladder does not currently fall under necessary upgrades from an operational standpoint.

To learn more about the groups responsible for the upcoming work on the viewing area, visit the Discover Your Northwest website and the Corps Foundation’s website.

Original: The fish ladder at the Ballard Locks will close soon in order for a big renovation of the viewing area. The Corps Foundation and Discover Your Northwest*, the local non-profit supporting the Locks, are asking the public to help contribute towards the renovation, and they’re constructing a “legacy wall” to honor donors.

The fish ladder viewing area hasn’t had any major improvements since 1976, so you could say it’s due for an update. Additionally, there’s a “hodgepodge of outdated, ineffective, and inaccurate displays”, the Lock’s website reads. Plus, it’s dark, dreary, and the windows are usually pretty dingy.

The ladder’s viewing area will be completely renovated with the money raised. They plan to add auditorium seating and a 15-foot-wide video display, which Rich Deline from the Army Corps Foundation says will be great for two reasons. First, it will have information about the annual salmon run and different types of salmon, which, “if there are no fish you can learn something instead of looking at an empty dirty window,” Deline says. Second, it will help tour guides switch over to presentation-mode during fish ladder tours.

“This is a unique opportunity for you to ‘Leave a Legacy’ in support of the Ballard Locks,” the Corps Foundation writes on their website. The plan is to create a public art installation on the wall alongside the salmon ladder which will include donors’ names. Donors will also have a chance to tell their stories about why they donated, which will be accessed via a touch-screen display in the viewing room.

The donations are a bit spendy; the first tier is $1000 and is the “Sockeye”, which will be made from stainless steel at 18-inch by 4-inch with a 30-character inscription. The second tier is the “Coho”, at $5000 and 24-inch by 5-inch with a 34-character inscription. The top tier is $10,000: the “Chinook”, a treated stainless steel 24-inch by 5-inch cut-out and also with a 34-character inscription. Deline tells My Ballard that they already had donations in all three categories before publicizing the fundraiser.

The fish ladder viewing area will be closed for a few months while they renovate — Deline expects it to shut in December and reopen by early spring. The estimated project cost for the renovation is $1 million. For more on the Ballard Locks and US Army Corps, click here.

*An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the US Army Corps Foundation is requesting donations

 

 


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Seattle Logic
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Seattle Logic

Huh. I wonder if any of the JUNKIE HOBO FORTUNE would be better spent on things like the fish ladder renovations. Nah, let’s install a $500k toilet in the Commons and ask for donations instead!

Pedestrian
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Pedestrian

The Ballard Locks are a federal facility. How about we properly fund the federal government? And where is this magical infrastructure bill that the administration has been promising for the last two years?

Seattle logic
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Seattle logic

Why are there junkie campers on the federal facility?

There is an ongoing problem with the resident tent thieves near the parking lot. And to the extent that Seattle flouts federal law regarding illegal immigration (muh sanctuary city nonsense) it’s a bit cute to start demanding Fed money while also playing games with choosing which laws to enforce and actively undermining the legal rights of naturalized citizens and forcing them to subsidize people here illegally.

Pork Pie
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Pork Pie

Herr Hitler – Where are the tents directly on federal land, exactly?

ballard1919
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ballard1919

Lorena Gonzalez and Mike Obrien’s $2 million dollar taxpayer fund “defending” illegals facing deportation could pay for this twice over.

Robby
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Robby

The US Military Industrial Complex $639.1 billion dollar taxpayer fund “defending” democracy could pay for this 639,100 times over. What’s your point?

Robby
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Robby

What does this have to do with the fish ladder viewing area? Get lost.

Bolide
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Bolide

Sorry, no, Seattle is not flouting federal law. If you think it is, give us a citation.

Ballard Locks
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Ballard Locks

Well, the problem runs much deeper than just infrastructure funding itself. We are only talking about the public helping upgrade the visitor facilities. The Locks suffer from being a really nice place to go “for free” and the Corps priority and budgeting process is simply not designed to help visitors, even if they had the money. After all, the Corps of Engineers is a military organization, not the Post Office. Well, that’s a bad example, :-( A bit complicated but if you check out the website, you might learn more about why the public needs to help, not the government.

Robby
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Robby

Thank you for posting the first comment that has anything to do with the actual story.

Terry Pratt
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Terry Pratt

Its being held up by Democrats.

Truth
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Truth

Man you sure are obsessive about these junkies you talk so much about. What a sad life you lead where you spend every waking moment thinking and posting about them.

Maybe you just need a hug?

Pork Pie
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Pork Pie

Man you sure are obsessive about responding to the people who sure are obsessive about junkies. What a sad life you lead where you spend every waking moment thinking and posting about them.

Maybe you just need a hug?

Robby
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Robby

Your comment is irrelevant.

Lloyd Bentsen
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Lloyd Bentsen

I knew Irrelevant Elephant. Irrelevant Elephant was a friend of mine. Robby, you’re no Irrelevant Elephant.

maggiecat
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maggiecat

What? Donations? Ask iq45 not the public.

Leave it Be
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Leave it Be

I like the fish ladder the way it is. Quaint and dingy and weird. If I wanted glittery fish and tv screens I’d leave Ballard and move to Vegas.

Ballard Locks
Guest
Ballard Locks

Interesting viewpoint, guess we missed that perspective while we were surveying visitors the past 20 years.

Lampchop
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Lampchop

Considering DoD gets 65% of the federal budget why do they need donations?

Ballard Locks
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Ballard Locks

Well, that is a really good question that gets to the heart of the problem/frustration.

The Corps of Engineers is indeed under the DoD (Dept of Defense), but gets a very small % if the significant DoD budget, which has led to many of our overall failing infrastructure issues…remember Katrina and the New Orleans levees?

The visitor facilities we are focusing on only get 1/2 % of the already limited Corps budget and that is less than 10% of what is actually needed…pretty low on the priority list. The odds of any real money actually filtering through all those layers after 50+ years of trying are very slim, that is why we are looking for public donations. BTW, your donations go directly to the project and don’t get lost in the layers of bureaucracy that rarely result in getting what you need and it costs significantly more than it should.

To put a finer point on it, your donations don’t go to the DoD, they stay here for you to enjoy.

Thanks for bringing that up😜

Stan
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Stan

Based upon my observations during fish runs, it seemed that the fish had by now actually learned to use the locks as the boaters do. You swim in, you swim out. That whole fish ladder thing is so passe.

Ballard Locks
Guest
Ballard Locks

While salmon are frequently observed in the main lock chambers, they still use the ladders in significant numbers. We don’t have accurate counts of Salmon that use the chambers but are working on that.

When we have better information, we will share that with the public in our new STREAM Education Center in the Fish Ladder Viewing Room, which is what we are raising money for.

Don’t think we will be able to “train” all the salmon to use the lock chambers anytime soon.