On Dec. 9 the Washington Salmon Recovery Funding Board and Puget Sound Partnership announced more than $33 million in grants to Puget Sound organizations for projects that will restore salmon habitat and conserve pristine areas, all targeted at bringing salmon back from the brink of extinction. A total of $44.3 million was awarded statewide.
Nearly $25 million comes from the Partnership’s Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration fund, which is dedicated to funding the most effective projects in the Puget Sound region. The Salmon Recovery Funding Board concurrently funded an additional $8.3 million for Puget Sound priority projects from the region’s share of state salmon recovery funds.
Salmon are an integral part of the food web, highly prized by recreational and commercial fishers, and are an important cultural and economic resource for Puget Sound tribes. The 2015 State of the Sound reports that while 6 of 22 Puget Sound Chinook salmon populations saw slight upticks between 2011 and 2013, the total number of wild spawning Chinook salmon declined as compared to 2006-2010. Read a snapshot of the Chinook Salmon Population Abundance Vital Sign ecosystem indicator here.
“What’s good for salmon is good for people, too. As the largest estuary in the nation, Puget Sound is the nursery for much of the Northwest’s salmon populations. It’s also home to more than two-thirds of our state’s population,” said Sheida R. Sahandy, Executive Director of the Puget Sound Partnership. “These funds advance regionally significant projects that protect treaty rights, provide clean water and healthy food, and ensure a future for the natural resources that feed our souls and fuel our economy.”
About the Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration Fund
The PSAR program was created in 2007 to help implement the most important habitat protection and restoration priorities for Puget Sound. The Puget Sound Partnership works with local entities to identify and prioritize projects. This funding is critical to advancing the most effective projects throughout our region.
To be eligible for funding, proposed projects must first advance through a series of rigorous, science-driven reviews. The reviews occur at the local and regional level and ensure that all PSAR projects align with the Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Plan, as well as with the Puget Sound Partnership’s ecosystem recovery targets, listed in the Puget Sound Action Agenda.
PSAR funds are approved by the Legislature and funded by the sale of state general obligation bonds. The Recreation and Conservation Office assures the projects are properly and efficiently designed and constructed and works closely with the Puget Sound Partnership to administer the grant program.
PSAR funds support 71 Puget Sound projects:
Green River/Duwamish River watershed and central Puget Sound ($1,101,070): Downey Farmstead – Frager Road relocation (City of Kent); Lones-Turley Levee Conceptual Design (King County); Maury Island Aquatic Reserve Protection (King County); Duwamish Gardens Restoration (City of Tukwila); and Mill Creek Side Channel (City of Kent).
Hood Canal ($4,540,658): Upper South Fork Skokomish Channel Floodplain Assessment (Mason Conservation District); Salmon Creek Bridge Construction West Uncas Road (Jefferson County); Lower Mainstem Skokomish Large Woody Material Design Highway 101 (Mason Conservation District); Skokomish Valley Road Realignment Conceptual Design (Mason Conservation District); Snow Creek Uncas Preserve Phase 2 (Jefferson Land Trust); Big Quilcene River Floodplain Key Pieces (Jefferson County); Weaver Creek Reconnection (Mason Conservation District); Hood Canal Bridge Impact Assessment (Long Live the Kings); Lower Big Quilcene River Design Phase 2 (Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group); and Duckabush River Estuary Restoration Planning (Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group.
Island County ($424,622): Kristoferson Creek Fish Passage Improvements (Snohomish Conservation District); Iverson Preserve Stakeholder Integration (Island County); Camano Island State Park Tidal Marsh Feasibility (Skagit River System Cooperative); and the Greenbank Marsh Restoration Issues Assessment (Whidbey Island Conservation District).
Cedar River, Sammamish River watershed ($1,382,142): Sammamish River Side Channel restoration Phase 3 (City of Bothell); Lower Bear Creek Natural Area Additions (King County); Bear Creek Reach 6 Restoration Phase 2 Design (Adopt A Stream Foundation); Meadowdale Beach Park and Estuary Restoration Design (Snohomish County); Willowmoor Preliminary Design (King County); and Evans Creek Relocation Project (City of Redmond).
Nisqually River salmon recovery ($1,401,875): Mashel Shoreline Protection Phase 4 (Nisqually Land Trust); Mashel Eatonville Restoration Phase 3 (South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group); Whitewater Reach Protection Project (Nisqually Land Trust); Mashel Eatonville Phase 3 Conservation Easement (Nisqually Land Trust); and West Oakland Bay Restoration and Conservation (Squaxin Island Tribe).
North Olympic Peninsula ($3,015,179): Dungeness River Railroad Reach Floodplain Restoration (Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe); Beach Lake Acquisition and Restoration (Coastal Watershed Institute); and Dungeness River Floodplain Restoration-Robinson Phase (Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe).
Pierce ($1,890,205): South Prairie Creek (River Mile 4-4.6) Phase 1 (South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group); Chambers Creek Dam Acquisition Feasibility and Planning (Forterra); Neadham Road Acquisition and Design (Pierce County); and West Oakland Bay Restoration and Conservation (Squaxin Island Tribe).
San Juan ($645,049): Ecology of Resident Chinook in San Juan Islands (Long Live the Kings); Cascade Creek Acquisition (San Juan County Land Bank); and Mud Bay Sucia Island Salt Marsh Restoration (Friends of the San Juans).
Skagit ($4,233,717): Pressentin Park Restoration Phases 2 and 3 (Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group); Skagit Side Channel Barrier Final Designs (Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group); Illabot Creek Alluvial Fan Restoration Phase 2b (Skagit River System Cooperative); Lake Creek Wetland Complex Protection (Skagit Land Trust); and Goodell Creek Restoration Feasibility (Upper Skagit Indian Tribe).
Snohomish ($1,468,354): Qwuloolt Estuary Restoration and Construction (Tulalip Tribes); Snoqualmie at Fall City Raging River Acquisition (King County); Moga Back Channel Construction (Snohomish Conservation District); Woods Creek In-stream Restoration Partnership (Adopt A Stream Foundation); and Middle Pilchuck Large Woody Materials Design (Wild Fish Conservancy).
Stillaguamish ($40,000): Knotweed Control in North and South Forks Stilly (Snohomish County).
West Sound ($991,112): Crescent Creek Culvert Feasibility Study (South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group); Grovers Creek Protection Phase 2 (Great Peninsula Conservancy); Harper Estuary Restoration Final Design (Kitsap County); Port Orchard Pass Phase 1 Preliminary Design (Bainbridge Island Land Trust); Lower Purdy Creek Restoration Feasibility (Pierce County Public Works and Utilities); Cowling Creek Culverts Replacement Feasibility (Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group); Evergreen Park Near-shore Restoration Design (Bremerton Public Works Department); and West Oakland Bay Restoration and Conservation (Squaxin Island Tribe).
Nooksack River watershed ($2,392,809): South Fork Nesset Phase 1 Restoration (Nooksack Indian Tribe); Middle Fork Porter Creek Reach Phase 1 (Lummi Nation); and North Fork Farmhouse Phase 2b (Nooksack Indian Tribe).
Deschutes River watershed ($806,195): West Oakland Bay Restoration and Conservation (Squaxin Island Tribe); Deschutes River Mile 33 Large Woody Materials Preliminary Design (South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group); WRIA 13 Water Type Assessment Phase 4 (Wild Fish Conservancy); Deschutes River Mile 21 Large Woody Materials and Riparian Design (South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group ); Lake Lawrence Outlet Channel Restoration (South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group); Shermer-Deschutes Floodplain Acquisition (Capitol Land Trust); and Deschutes River Bridge Design (Capitol Land Trust).
Kennedy-Goldsborough watershed ($783,581): West Oakland Bay Restoration and Conservation (Squaxin Island Tribe); and Anderson Creek Enhancement Project Phase 2 (South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group).
About the Puget Sound Partnership
The Puget Sound Partnership is the state agency formed to lead the region’s collective effort to restore and protect Puget Sound. Working with hundreds of governments, tribes, scientists, businesses, and nonprofits, the Partnership mobilizes partner action around a common agenda, advances Sound investments, and tracks progress to optimize recovery.