Oct. 21, 2010
King County watersheds share $1.5 million in salmon habitat protection, restoration grants
Habitat for endangered salmon and other wildlife in three King County watersheds will see added improvements, thanks to more than $1.5 million in Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration (PSAR) grants from the state Salmon Recovery Funding Board (SRFB). The PSAR grants were created in 2007 as part of Gov. Christine Gregoire’s initiative to restore Puget Sound.
“This funding is essential to our ongoing work to preserve and restore fish and wildlife habitat across our region,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “The grants will allow this important restoration work to continue during difficult economic times.”
Projects funded include floodplain restoration, levee setbacks, and restoring Puget Sound shoreline.
“These grants will do a number of things. They will put people to work repairing damage to salmon habitat, and they will help us conserve land important for salmon recovery,” said Steve Tharinger, SRFB chair. “Without grants such as these, there would be no hope that we ever would recover salmon from the brink of extinction.”
Three projects in the Lake Washington/Cedar/Sammamish Watershed received $888,377.
One project in the Snoqualmie/South Fork Skykomish Watershed in eastern King County received over $481,000.
One project in the Green/Duwamish and Central Puget Sound Watershed in southern King County received $197,299.
The three watersheds stretch from the Cascade crest west to the shoreline of Puget Sound, and are home to chinook salmon, steelhead trout, and bull trout, all listed as “threatened” under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Sockeye and coho salmon and cutthroat trout also depend on the freshwater and saltwater habitats in these watersheds. Restoring the health of all of these watersheds is a key part of the Puget Sound Partnership Action Agenda program to protect and restore Puget Sound.
The state funds will be matched by funds from cities, King County and federal grants.
Local projects were evaluated in a rigorous process intended to identify the most effective and scientifically-sound projects. Local watershed groups reviewed and prioritized projects before sending funding requests to the state.
Additional grant awards of state and federal Salmon Recovery Funding Board funds will occur at the Dec. 9-10 board meeting.
Here is a summary of the grant awards by watershed:
The Lake Washington/Cedar/Sammamish Watershed received grant awards totaling $888,377 for three projects:
Recipient: King County - $300,000
Project: Acquisition for Future Restoration of Cedar River Elliot Bridge Reach
The King County Water and Land Resources Division will use this grant to buy 3.3 acres on the lower Cedar River. The project builds on previous acquisitions, both upstream and downstream, to form a continuous corridor of protected riparian land. It sets the stage for large scale floodplain restoration of all these lands, including levee setbacks. The targeted parcel is located just upstream of the “landslide reach,” which is one of the two highest quality habitat areas on the lower Cedar River and home to significant chinook salmon runs. Local grant match: $100,000.
Recipient: Washington Department of Natural Resources - $300,000
Project: Restoration of South Lake Washington Shoreline near Cedar River Mouth
The Washington Department of Natural Resources will use this grant to restore a quarter of a mile of shoreline and 3 acres of upland habitat in southern Lake Washington. The restoration will improve the water quality of the lake and shoreline habitat for chinook salmon. The restoration project will remove 650 linear feet of hardened shoreline; restore 660 linear feet of shallow water habitat; remove nonnative, invasive plants; replant the shoreline and three upland acres; and remove 21 creosote-treated piles and rip rap. State grant match: $693,897.
Recipient: Seattle Public Utilities - $288,377
Project: Acquisition for Future Restoration of Cedar River Royal Arch Reach
Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) will use this grant to acquire over 25 acres to protect, and later restore, habitat for chinook salmon in the lower Cedar River. SPU is buying land for salmon habitat protection and restoration below its municipal watershed ownership boundary at the Landsburg Diversion Dam. After the December 2008 flood, several landowners at the Royal Arch reach of the river expressed interest in selling their properties. Purchase of this land would provide restoration opportunities that would enable the river to migrate in the floodplain, thereby increasing habitat complexity. SPU match: $300,000.
The Snoqualmie/South Fork Skykomish Watershed in northeastern King County received a grant award totaling $481,000 for one project:
Recipient: Wild Fish Conservancy - $481,000
Project: Restoring the Stillwater Floodplain
The Wild Fish Conservancy will use this grant to restore 1,000 feet of shoreline in the Stillwater reach of the Snoqualmie River. The conservancy will remove bank revetments and reconstruct the shoreline edge habitat by placing downed trees and root wads into the riverbank and planting the shore. Local grant match: $204,814.
The Green/Duwamish and Central Puget Sound Watershed in southern King County received grant awards totaling $197,299 for three projects:
Recipient: City of Tukwila - $197,299
Projects: Rehabilitating the Duwamish Gardens Estuary
Tukwila will use this grant to excavate 55,000 cubic yards of material to create about 2 acres of shallow water mudflat and marsh for chinook and chum salmon on the right bank of the Duwamish River. The city also will plant .8 acre of uplands with native vegetation. Off-channel and shallow water habitats in this stretch of the Duwamish will give juvenile fish a chance to move out of the main channel to habitats where they can feed and rear before ocean migration. The property is among the largest remaining pieces of under-developed sites for habitat restoration remaining in the Duwamish corridor. When restored, it will be the largest, off-channel habitat between the Codiga Farms restoration and North Wind's Weir restoration. The project will provide another viewpoint on the river across from the popular Green River Trail. Local grant match: $52,929.
For more information on salmon habitat conservation in the watersheds, see www.govlink.org/watersheds/
Perry Falcone, Snoqualmie Watershed, 206-296-1940
Jean White, Lake Washington/Cedar/Sammamish Watershed, 206-263-6458
Doug Osterman, Green/Duwamish and Central Puget Sound Watershed, 206-296-8069
Salmon and trout topics
King County watersheds map
Habitat restoration projects