Borgans Island in the Columbia River closed due to human-caused - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Borgans Island in the Columbia River closed due to human-caused damage

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PASCO, WA-  For the past couple of years the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has closed Borgans Island in the Columbia River between Pasco and Kennewick because of people damaging the environment. 

"It's just unfortunate the actions of a few end up costing everyone," said Gina Baltrusch, spokesperson for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the Walla Walla District.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Walla Walla District first closed Borgans Island, also known as Chiawana Island, back in 2014 after they found human waste, broken glass, vegetation damage, and more.  After it was cleaned, the island reopened in 2015.  Shortly after, the same damage happened again. 

"Public lands are very valuable resources to everybody. If people are out recreating whether it's corps lands or other public lands, and they see somebody abusing the public resources, no matter who they belong to, they should really help to try to preserve that," said Baltrusch.

It is also not in their budget to deal with out of the norm clean up situations. 

"If it's available for recreation, then it has to be safe. We can't guarantee that, the way things have been occurring there," said Baltrusch.

Borgans is not the only federally managed island on the Columbia River that is closed to the public. 

"It was an extremely difficult decision for our leadership here," said Baltrusch.

For now, the island will heal on its own.

The Corps of Engineers said there are other nearby recreational resources for people to use.  Here is a link to their website. 
 

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