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

Help teach about salmon and the Cedar River

Help teach about salmon and the Cedar River!

Become a volunteer naturalist on the Cedar as the program enters its 19th year! Naturalists will receive 20 hours of training starting September 7. Learn about the amazing salmon migration that runs through the heart of Seattle, Renton and up into Maple Valley -- and then spend three weekend days along the river, talking to the public about salmon and the Watershed. Contact via E-mail or call 206-792-5851 to sign up. For more information, visit the website.

This summer's watershed conditions less stressful than last year for fish

This summer's watershed conditions less stressful than last year for fish Despite our warm spring (the toughest part of the year so far for fish, according to Ecology), recent cooler temperatures and some rain have returned water supplies to near-normal and kept demand down. Seattle's reservoirs are in good shape for this time of year, but it's always wise (and fish-friendly!) to practice water conservation.

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) predicts increased chances of above normal temperatures for Washington through October, with precipitation levels likely to be around normal for our part of the state. The fall outlook (September-October-November) indicates above normal temperatures statewide, with above normal precipitation expected for Western Washington, perhaps due in part to the forecasted (possibly weak) La Niña. Previous La Nina's have brought cooler and wetter conditions to the Pacific Northwest during winter months.

Keep posted on water supply and watershed conditions at these useful sites:

Stretch of Cedar River temporarily closed to recreational use


The King County Sheriff's Office has temporarily closed to all recreational use a nine-mile stretch of the Cedar River between Maple Valley and Renton until logjams there can be evaluated and steps taken to improve safety. Signs announcing the closure are posted along the river, including in popular access spots upstream of the hazards. Learn more.

Remember, when floating or boating in rivers:

Armored shorelineWeigh in on proposed changes to the Shoreline Management Act (SMA) by August 26

The Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) is in the process of amending several rules related to the SMA (last updated in 2011), and is releasing a preliminary draft for early input. The draft rules are available for informal comment until August 26. View more information, including how to comment. Or contact Michelle Wilcox, 360-407-7676.

News of note:

The salmon's swim for survival
According to this New York Times editorial, there are two recent pieces of welcome news affecting the Pacific Northwest's beleaguered salmon populations.
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Loss of salmon habitat continues
Salmon habitat restoration successes have been offset by loss of habitat and other factors, according to a report from the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission.
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Contaminants higher in resident Chinook
The Puget Sound Chinook salmon that spend their entire lives in local waters, rather than migrating to the open ocean, tend to be more contaminated with pollutants.
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Washington must fix salmon-blocking culverts, court says
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed that the state must repair culverts around Western Washington that block salmon passage to spawning grounds.
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Ballard's Chittenden Locks turned 100 on August 3
On Aug. 3, 1916, the first ship passed through the locks. It was officially opened on July 4, 1917. The locks and the Lake Washington Ship Canal connect Lake Union and Lake Washington to Puget Sound.
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Grant opportunities

Ecology announces waters quality grant information
The Department of Ecology's Water Quality Program has published its 2018 Funding Guidelines and other information relevant to Clean Water grants, Clean Water Act Section 319 grants, Revolving Fund loans, and Stormwater Financial Assistance grants. Projects eligible for these funds are those that improve and protect Washington's water quality, including stormwater facilities and activities and nonpoint source pollution control. View more information on the funding cycle, grant guidelines, and August workshops for applicants.

Pre-proposals for Saltonstall-Kennedy Grants due September 20
The Saltonstall-Kennedy (SK) grant program, with $10 million available, is requiring short pre-proposals this year for projects that address the needs of fishing communities, build and maintain sustainable fisheries, and increase other opportunities to keep working waterfronts viable. Non-profits, tribes or businesses may apply, especially from the fishing community. Learn more on the NOAA website or contact Kim Raneses (206) 526-6131.

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

If you would like to submit an item for inclusion in the next WRIA 8 e-newsletter, please email