April 2016 Newsletter
Lake Washington/Cedar/Sammamish Watershed
Water Resource Inventory Area (WRIA) 8

KING 5 covers WRIA 8 Plan ten year mark and Rainbow Bend

Rainbow BendWRIA 8 Salmon Recovery Manager Jason Mulvihill-Kuntz was interviewed in March for a KING 5 story about the first ten years of WRIA 8 Chinook salmon recovery. The story also featured King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn and King County Ecologist Josh Latterell discussing the Rainbow Bend Floodplain Restoration project as an example of the kind of habitat restoration project needed for salmon to recover in our watershed.

For more on the Rainbow Bend project, you can check out the first effectiveness monitoring report (pdf) for specifics on how the project, completed in 2013, is functioning. (Note: the effectiveness monitoring report is being updated and will be posted in a few days - please check back later.) The three page executive summary is a good place to start.

To put it all in context, get your copy (if you haven’t yet) of WRIA 8’s 2016 Progress Report detailing ten years of progress and lessons learned in implementing salmon recovery, and outlining the challenges ahead. Called Salmon and People Living Together: Adapting to Change in our Watershed, the report is available online, or you can email polly.freeman@kingcounty.gov for a printed copy.

Puget Sound watershed mapComment on the Draft Action Agenda for Puget Sound through April 29

The Draft 2016 Action Agenda for Puget Sound is now available for review. Collaborating with hundreds of partners across Puget Sound, the Puget Sound Partnership (PSP) began updating the Action Agenda last year. PSP is now circulating the draft for review and feedback before it is finalized and adopted in June. Participate in the online public meeting at PugetSoundActionAgendaUpdate.publicmeeting.info. Or send your comments to AAcomment@psp.wa.gov before April 29.

KokaneeCelebrate Kokanee on Fry-day April 22!

Join the Lake Sammamish Kokanee Work Group at Confluence Park in Issaquah from 11:30-2 on April 22 to celebrate the third highest kokanee return in two decades, the reintroduction of kokanee into the Issaquah Creek system, and more! Parking is limited; please carpool. Email VanDornH@yahoo.com or call 303-803-5323 to learn more. For more about Lake Sammamish kokanee, visit the Lake Sammamish kokanee page.

Green Shores for Homes (GSH) program is up and running! Help spread the word!

Green shorelineThis voluntary, incentive-based program for waterfront homeowners has three confirmed pilot communities in Washington and three in British Columbia, and is negotiating with six pilot properties in Washington and two in BC. Check out the new Green Shores for Homes website and watch this great video about the program produced by our BC partners.

To help, please:

To learn more, contact Nicole Faghin at Faghin@uw.edu or Margaret Glowacki at Margaret.Glowacki@seattle.gov.

More resources for “greening” our shorelines

Nearly a third of Puget Sound's shoreline is armored with bulkheads and other structures meant to hold back storm surge and erosion. But new studies reveal the toll this takes on the environment. Learn more from Salish Sea Currents six part series.

Marine waterfront landowners have an important role to play in creating more natural shorelines. A new Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) guide called Your Marine Waterfront: A guide to protecting your property while promoting healthy shorelines can help. This easy-to-follow, illustrated booklet provides tools for addressing shoreline erosion while keeping Puget Sound healthy for fish and wildlife.

Washington State University has also published a Guide for Shoreline Living (pdf) for those who live directly on the Salish Sea or further inland. We can all help.

Green Shoreline

Propose working forest lands at risk of conversion by June 17

ForestThe Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is looking for working forest lands at risk of development to protect as part of the Community Forest Trust. The program gives communities a way to maintain the benefits that working forest lands bring – local timber sources, jobs, clean air and water, recreational opportunities and fish and wildlife habitat. If DNR accepts a site proposed by a community, they work together to get funding from the State Legislature for acquisition. The local sponsor must come up with part of the funds and the site must be maintained as working forest. Learn more at the Washington Community Forest Trust Program website.

Cities in the rainWeigh in on prioritizing watersheds for stormwater improvements

The Department of Commerce, with a group of interested parties, has developed draft Building Cities in the Rain guidance that describes a process for prioritizing watersheds for stormwater retrofits. The program hopes to help local governments invest in these retrofits in a way that leverages opportunities for salmon habitat restoration and facilitates redevelopment in urban centers. The draft guidance is available for public comment until midnight April 30 at the link above. Email your comments or questions to heather.ballash@commerce.wa.gov.

Photo credit: MIG

Grant opportunity:
Water Works grant applications due May 25

King County's Wastewater Treatment Division (WTD) is calling for applications to its WaterWorks Grant Program by May 25. A total of $850,000 is available this year to non-profits, schools, cities, counties, special purpose districts, and tribes working on projects that improve water quality in the WTD service area. Grant workshops will be held in April; details and application forms are at the King County Waterworks Grants website. With questions, email water.grants@kingcounty.gov or call Elizabeth Loudon at 206-477-4297 or Kristin Painter at 206-477-5470.

VolunteersVolunteer at Totem Lake Park

Join the King Conservation District on April 23 or May 28 to restore and maintain Totem Lake Park, a park and wetland in the heart of Kirkland that supports a small ecosystem of diverse plants and animals. The wetland filters stormwater runoff from the roads and businesses nearby. Contact volunteer coordinator Nikki Marschke at 425-282-1909 to register or get more information.

KnotweedStay current on noxious weed news!

King County has a new blog on all things noxious and weedy. Visit kingcountyweeds.com for featured noxious weeds of the month, seasonal weed control alerts and tips, upcoming workshops and events, job listings, grant and volunteer opportunities, weeds in the news and much more. Check it out and sign up for regular updates.

News of note

Cocaine, Prozac, other drugs found in Puget Sound salmon
Prozac, Advil, Benadryl, Lipitor, cocaine  and dozens of other drugs are showing up in the tissues of juvenile Chinook, thanks to contaminated wastewater.

Supreme Court allows Chesapeake Bay cleanup to proceed
In a decision that may have implications for restoring health to other large waterbodies (like Puget Sound), the Supreme Court has declined to hear a challenge to a Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan.

How different are wild and hatchery salmon?
Within one generation, hatchery-born salmon can become drastically different from their counterparts in the wild, with hundreds of variations at the genetic level.

Skagit salmon much smaller than usual; blamed on warm ocean
The Skagit River coho run of 2015 ranked as the worst on record, and the few salmon that did make it back to freshwater spawning grounds were undersized.

Chinook salmon (also known as king salmon) are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. In WRIA 8, citizens, scientists, businesses, environmental and community organizations, and local, state and federal governments are cooperating on protection and restoration projects and have developed a science-based plan to conserve salmon today and for future generations. Funding for the salmon conservation plan is provided by 28 local governments in the watershed. For more information visit our website at www.govlink.org/watersheds/8/.

If you would like to submit an item for inclusion in the next WRIA 8 e-newsletter, please email linda.grob@kingcounty.gov.