After significant cleanup during the past week, the Walla Walla District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers re-opened Illia Dunes recreation area on the Lower Snake River Sunday.
The popular area near Lower Granite Lock and Dam had been closed to the public since Aug. 27 due to health and safety concerns after heavy visitation and trash accumulation occurred the weekend of Aug. 25 and 26. Many broken bottles and beer cans were left in the water, garbage was strewn about the beach and parking lots, and litter was discarded along the roadway.
Overall, more than 3,000 pounds of trash was removed from the shore and in-water areas, three miles of ditch between Illia Dunes and Lower Granite Dam, and other nearby areas.
Going forward, Corps staff will monitor Illia Dunes visitors’ ongoing actions such as “pack it in, pack it out” removal of trash. The Corps provides free bags for trash collection and removal.
The Corps will also monitor how well visitors keep glass containers off the beach at all times, consume alcohol responsibly, use provided restrooms, not use fireworks on Corps lands at any time, and enjoy their visit without breaking any laws or offending other visitors. Future options available to the Corps include an alcohol ban, if necessary. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)