Grants help salmon habitat work, programs in Lake Washington-Cedar-Sammamish watershed

  • Friday, September 29, 2017 1:30am
  • News

Courtesy photo

The King County Flood Control District has approved more than $2.3 million in Cooperative Watershed Management grant funding to support ongoing chinook salmon recovery efforts in the Lake Washington/Cedar/Sammamish Watershed. The funding supports high priority salmon habitat restoration projects, tracking salmon populations, and salmon-related education and outreach programs.

Salmon recovery in this watershed, also referred to as Water Resource Inventory Area 8 (WRIA 8) is cooperatively managed by 28 local governments, stakeholder representatives from businesses, community groups, concerned citizens, and state and federal agencies who work together to recover chinook salmon, which were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1999.

“We have much work ahead of us if we are going to be successful recovering our native chinook salmon populations, but we are making progress,” said Bothell Mayor and WRIA 8 Salmon Recovery Council Chair Andy Rheaume in a press release. “This Flood Control District funding is critically important and enables us to continue to build momentum on high priority habitat projects that improve the health of the watershed and improve our communities.”

In WRIA 8, Cooperative Watershed Management grants approved by the Flood Control District Board of Supervisors will provide:

• $1,986,164 to habitat protection and restoration projects;

• $299,972 to monitoring activities; and

• $93,209 to education and outreach programs.

Highlights from the grant awards include a $362,700 grant to Seattle Public Utilities to acquire land for a floodplain reconnection project near Royal Arch, a high priority location along the Cedar River, most of which is in the river’s channel migration zone. Reconnecting the river to its floodplain provides better habitat for salmon and reduces flood risk in the area.

The Washington Department of Natural Resources was awarded $583,142 to remove armoring around Bird Island and enhance the shoreline near the mouth of the Cedar River in Lake Washington.

Work will include removing debris, adding sand and gravel, installing log structures, and revegetating the shoreline with native plants. The result will be a more natural shoreline that will create shallow areas critical to young salmon that need to find food and steer clear of predators before heading out to Puget Sound.

King County and the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife were awarded $299,972 for projects to monitor juvenile chinook salmon and spawning adult salmon numbers for a better understanding of the watershed’s salmon population trends.

Forterra was awarded $81,312 to work with landowners in controlling invasive Japanese knotweed and restore native plants along Bear Creek, a tributary to the Sammamish River.

“We are grateful to the Flood Control District Board of Supervisors for their leadership and focus on multi-benefit projects that align with our salmon habitat priorities,” Jason Mulvihill-Kuntz, Watershed Coordinator for WRIA 8, said in a press release. “Their financial support is key to salmon recovery efforts.”

For more information on WRIA 8 salmon recovery work, visit govlink.org/watersheds/8/default.aspx.

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