On Sept. 26, the Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board announced the award of nearly $76 million in grants across the state to help ensure the survival of salmon in Washington.
The grants that were funded went to 138 projects in 30 of the state’s 39 counties. The grants will pay for work to restore salmon habitat, including repairing degraded habitat in rivers, removing barriers blocking salmon migration and conserving pristine habitat.
Over $2.8 million in grant funding was awarded to projects and efforts in King County.
The city of Bothell was awarded $160,373 for planning habitat restoration at the former Wayne Golf Course. The city will use this grant to assess alternatives and complete conceptual designs to improve habitat on the East side of the former Wayne Golf Course along the Sammamish River.
The City acquired the land several years ago. This 31.6-acre area presents a unique opportunity
for habitat restoration with 1,000 feet of Sammamish River shoreline and the lower 1,200 feet of
Waynita Creek flowing through the site. The purpose of this project is to collect data on-site, including wetland and critical area surveys and groundwater monitoring, to develop restoration alternatives that will significantly improve habitat, rearing opportunities, and cold-water refuge for salmon.
The city of Enumclaw was awarded over $1.1 million to re-route about one-third mile of Boise Creek to a historic channel along the steep hillside of Enumclaw Golf Course to improve both water quality and habitat for Chinook salmon and steelhead trout.
According to the Salmon Recovery Funding Board, the city also will plant the creek banks and place large woody material in the channel. Planting trees and bushes along a shoreline helps shade the water, keeping it cool for fish. The plants also drop branches and leaves into the water, which provide food for the insects salmon eat. Finally, the roots of the plants help keep soil from entering the water, where it can smother fish spawning gravel. Adding woody materials like logs to a stream creates places for fish to rest, feed, and hide from predators. It also slows the river, which reduces erosion and allows small rocks to settle to the bottom, creating areas for salmon to spawn.
The King County Water and Land Resources Division was also awarded several grants for restoration projects along the Green River, including: over $232,000 in total grants for planting native plants in riparian zones and creating riverbank habitat along the river in Flaming Geyser State Park, and over $132,000 for the removal of the Hamakami Levee, which the Salmon Recovery Funding Board says will allow the Green River to reach its historic flood plain as well as investments in restoring the riparian and aquatic habitat.
The King County Water and Land Resources Division was also awarded $100,000 for planting trees and shrubs along the Bear Creek shoreline in the Middle Bear Creek Natural Area, which is expected to help raise water levels and cool water temperatures to restore critical salmon habitat.
Seattle Public Utilities was awarded over $686,000 to remove bank armoring and other structures, create side channels, plant, and place large wood structures in the upper Royal Arch reach of the Cedar River. According to the Salmon Recovery Funding Board, adding wood structures to a river creates places for fish to rest, feed, and hide from predators. It also slows the river, which reduces erosion and allows small rocks to settle to the riverbed, creating areas for salmon to spawn.
“This is incredibly important work,” said Governor Jay Inslee about the grant-funded restoration efforts. “The projects will help restore salmon across the state. That means more salmon for our endangered orcas, more jobs for people and industries that rely on salmon and improved habitat that can better protect us from floods and the effects of climate change.”
For more information on other grant awards in King County, or in other parts of the state, visit this link.