Opinion

VOLUNTEER VIEW: NSEA volunteers dedicated to restoring wild salmon runs in Whatcom County

The Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association was established in 1990 and had 2,191 volunteers in 2014.

Purpose: The Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association, known as NSEA, is a community-based nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring sustainable wild salmon runs in Whatcom County. We fulfill this mission by working with community members in each of our programs: education, restoration, outreach and scientific monitoring. Our education program offers field-based environmental education for elementary through post-secondary level students and community members focusing on salmon, stream ecology and stewardship. In our restoration program, NSEA holds volunteer work parties, inviting all community members to get their hands dirty planting trees and removing invasive plants along salmon-bearing streams in Whatcom County. We also have an expert WCC crew working collaboratively with landowners to implement habitat restoration projects including removal of fish passage barriers, installing bridges and replanting native trees. NSEA’s scientific monitoring program conducts surveys of salmon spawning grounds to better understand the status of our local salmon population.

Volunteer highlights: Every year NSEA holds a big community volunteer work party to celebrate Earth Day. Last year we had over 200 hundred volunteers attend our Earth Day celebration to plant 2,700 native trees along the Nooksack River. Please join NSEA and Whatcom Conservation District in celebrating Earth Day this year on April 18 at Terrell Creek in Birch Bay, see n-sea.org/work-parties for directions and details.

Signature fundraiser: Salmon at the Bay, 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., July 11 at Boundary Bay Brewery, 1107 Railroad Ave.

Wish list: NSEA could use more members, donors and landowners interested in restoration on their property. We could also use a fuel efficient commuter car, computer desks, power and heavy equipment. Please call 360-715-0283 for more details.

Volunteer needs: NSEA needs volunteers at our seasonal work parties (see n-sea.org/work-parties). We also need volunteers to help organize NSEA’s library system and photo library. Any volunteer with IT, videography and photography skills would also be an asset to NSEA.

For more information, go online to n-sea.org.

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