15-038 Borgans Island reopens June 19 for limited recreation

Published June 17, 2015
TRI-CITIES, Wash. – The Walla Walla District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, will reopen Borgans Island for limited recreation access on Friday, June 19, natural resource managers at the district announced, today.

On Sept. 25, 2014, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials temporarily closed public access to Borgans Island (also known as Goat or Chiawana Island) on the Columbia River between Pasco and Kennewick due to unauthorized visitor activities.

The closure was necessary due to the extensive amount of digging on the island (makeshift latrines) and concentrated disposal of human waste, toilet paper, diapers, glass and other trash observed on the island. These unauthorized activities resulted in environmental damage and potential public health and safety issues for future visitors.

Corps employees cleaned up the trash and waste, and decided the island would be re-opened for limited recreation activities (no camping, no fires, leave no trace). There are no developed visitor services available on the small island – visitors are asked to take their trash and other belongings (a “Pack it in – Pack it out” bag dispenser will be installed) with them when they leave, and to use restroom facilities at other nearby public recreation areas. There are no toilets or garbage service on the island.

There are several nearby shoreline recreation areas that offer developed visitor services, including boat launches, courtesy docks, trash receptacles and restrooms: Chiawana Park and Columbia Park are located directly adjacent to the island along the Columbia River’s Pasco and Kennewick shorelines. Slightly downstream of Chiawana Park, on the Pasco side of the river, Wade Park (also known as Road 54) also offers visitor and boater facilities.

Corps recreation officials hope future visitors will tread lightly on Borgans Island, preserving the unique recreation area for all to use and enjoy. The Corps and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department will continue to monitor the island.

“Protecting the health and safety of all visitors, as well as protecting the island’s resources, is in everyone’s best interest,” said Natural Resources Management Chief Joyce Dunning.

For information about other Corps of Engineers recreation opportunities in the Tri-Cities area, check out the parks list at www.nww.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/McNaryDamandLakeWallula.aspx.

Public Affairs Office

Release no. 15-038