State awards $9.6M for salmon work

Staff reportSeptember 22, 2013 

Four projects to restore salmon habitat in and near the South Sound will receive more than $2 million in grants from the state Salmon Recovery Funding Board. They were among 11 Puget Sound-area projects that will receive $9.6 million in grants.

The list of projects includes protecting a section of the Cedar River and conserving Dungeness River habitat.

All the projects are aimed at restoring damaged salmon habitat, conserving pristine salmon habitat or collecting data that will help make strategic investments in salmon recovery, said an agency news release.

Projects in the South Sound receiving grants were:

South Fork Puyallup River: $191,095. The Pierce County Surface Water Management Division will use this grant to restore and reconnect about 42 acres of floodplain to the South Fork Puyallup River. The county will build a three-quarter-mile-long side channel, place logjams along the channel and shape the channel to increase the types of habitat there. The river is used by chinook salmon, steelhead and bull trout, all listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. Pierce County will contribute $33,723 in cash.

Whiteman Cove Estuary: $72,000. The South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group will use this grant to complete preliminary designs for restoration of Whiteman Cove, south of Joemma Beach State Park. The enhancement group is considering actions to restore fish passage, improve tidal flow, improve spawning habitat and increase the number of salt marsh plants in the cove. Improvements would give salmon species access to a 29-acre estuary with 1.5 miles of shoreline and 1 mile of freshwater spawning and rearing habitat.

Lower Ohop Creek Valley: $1,394,411. The Nisqually Land Trust and the salmon enhancement group, in partnership with the Nisqually Indian Tribe, State Parks and other organizations, will use this grant to realign 1.4 miles of Ohop Creek, place logjams in the creek and plant the creek banks. The Eatonville area creek, a primary tributary of the Nisqually River, is a major producer of chinook salmon. Already more than 2 miles of habitat have been restored for listed salmon species. The enhancement group will contribute $251,162 from state and federal grants.

West Sound Water Classifications: $250,000. The Wild Fish Conservancy will use these funds to determine water type classifications for 100 miles of streams in the west Sound, including parts of Kitsap, Pierce and Mason counties. The information – to be available online – will be used to help identify and prioritize salmon restoration projects. The conservancy will contribute $45,000 from a local grant and donations of labor and materials.

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