What's New
Lake Washington/Cedar/Sammamish Watershed
Water Resource Inventory Area (WRIA) 8

Plant trees at Confluence Park October 24!

Confluence Park restoration project, Issaquah CreekCelebrate the completion of the ambitious Confluence Park restoration project by helping plant more than 6,000 native trees and shrubs along the creek banks in the heart of downtown Issaquah. Complementing the log jams, woody debris and meanders added to improve salmon habitat, plantings will help increase native plant diversity and add cover. Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust is teaming up on the project with City of Issaquah with help from Carter Subaru, KING 5 and REI. Enjoy food, music and plenty of planting. All tools provided. Sign up at Moutains to Sound Greenway Trust. Planting events are slated for Confluence Park on November 21 and December 5 too!

Salmon recovery tour highlights successes and challenges

Salmon Recovery Tour - Riverbend Restoration Project siteA yellow busload of about 40 folks visited several sites around WRIA 8 on October 9 for our annual look at high priority projects across the watershed. Participants included state legislators, Congressional staff, local officials and staff, state and federal agency staff, and community group members. Dodging a few raindrops -- and spotting some salmon! -- along the way, we visited:

These tours provide an invaluable opportunity to see progress – and problems – in person, and to network with others working to restore salmon habitat across our watershed.

Salmon SEEson is here and fish are returning!

Salmon Seeson: Spot the SpawnersWhile the summer was hot and dry, salmon are in fact returning to local streams this fall and we’re hoping to get visitors out to see them for this, the ninth year of Salmon SEEson. The program continues to add sites around the region: new this year are North Creek in Bothell, and Longfellow Creek, Whitney Bridge and the Soos Creek Hatchery in the Green/Duwamish Watershed (WRIA 9). Acknowledging the impacts that drought conditions may have on salmon, this year’s Salmon SEEson website includes tips for wise water use and other ways you can help salmon.

Reports on returning salmon are coming in from our Salmon SEEson partners now. Cedar River Salmon Journey staff tell us that almost 2,000 visitors turned out the first weekend in October, and saw fish at every location, including Chinook redds and active spawners at Cavanaugh Pond, Cedar River Park and Landsburg! Folks are also seeing Chinook return to North Creek.

Find more at the Salmon Seeson website. Download the Salmon SEEson poster and flyer from the site and spread the word to others! Read all about it in the Seattle Times! And “like” us on Facebook to help get your friends outside to see salmon!

Video documents Rainbow Bend project two years after completion

Rainbow Bend virtual tour videoYou will want to watch this inspiring two-minute video with photos comparing the Rainbow Bend project site in 2013 and the same spots on October 1 of this year. The video also includes underwater footage of sockeye and Chinook salmon using the site in the mainstem and floodplain side channel.

Drought - masonry pool water levelRegional WRIA leaders call attention to drought's effects on threatened salmon

On September 4, the Seattle Times published an OpEd from WRIA 8 chair Larry Phillips and other regional watershed leaders highlighting the importance of continued water conservation measures to protect local water supplies and fish populations:

Continue to conserve water and prepare for the future

Drought - masonry pool water levelAlthough cooler weather and rain have moderated temperatures, regional water managers are asking customers to continue the conservation efforts that have cut water use by 14% across the region thus far:

This is particularly important since our region’s fall and winter are likely to be warmer and drier than usual. And conservation may be a good practice to adopt permanently: King County Executive Dow Constantine’s September visit to the Sammamish Valley focused on local climate change impacts, including effects on salmon. He noted that this summer’s heat and dryness may offer a glimpse of our future:

Climate researchers link salmon survival to another climate factor

More climate news: a paper just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that salmon survival may be linked to the North Pacific Gyre Oscillation (NPGO), another inter-decadal climate phenomenon.

Additional King County properties proposed for conservation

In 2009, King County voters adopted a charter amendment to preserve conservation and passive recreation uses on 155,000 acres of King County-owned property interests with high ecological value. The County now proposes to add to that more than 4,000 acres of County-owned lands and easement properties. No new land would be purchased. See this map (pdf) for more detail or read the news release.

Kokanee Quest: Geocaching around Lake Sammamish“Kokanee Quest” to launch in mid-November

Gear up for a quest for kokanee! Kokanee Quest is a real-world treasure hunt for geocaches around Lake Sammamish intended to raise awareness about these little red salmon and how we can help them. It’s a great way to get your family outside and have fun this fall. Share your experience on social media with the hashtag #KokaneeQuest.

Knotweed along a riverImprove your knotweed knowhow

If you’re a warrior in the fight on invasive knotweed, mark your calendar for the 2015 Knotweed Forum at the Cedar River Watershed Education Center on November 4. The morning will feature updates from knotweed projects around the Sound, followed by an optional afternoon field trip. Pesticide license recertification credits are available. Attendance is free, but you must pre-register. Bring your own lunch! Email justin.bush@kingcounty.gov or get more details from 2015 Puget Sound Knotweed Forum.

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference slated for April 13-15: submit abstracts soon

Save the date for the 2016 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference in Vancouver, BC -- and submit an abstract by December 18 to highlight the awesome work you do! See:

Want to learn more about “Living Shorelines”?

Join a national conversation with the Living Shorelines Forum or check out a new publication about the hazards of shoreline hardening. To be added to the mailing list for a Washington State Living Shorelines Work Group, contact Nicole Faghin at faghin@uw.edu.

New Puget Sound Fact Book available

On the lookout for key facts about Puget Sound? Check out this great resource from the UW Puget Sound Institute. Topics include the physical environment, human dimensions, pollutants, stormwater, climate change, habitat, species and food webs, and threats. Maps too!

Grant opportunities:

The Washington Department of Ecology is now accepting proposals for the Floodplains by Design grant program, which funds projects that integrate flood hazard reduction with habitat restoration, focusing on major rivers and estuaries. A new “small project” category has been added this round for requests up to $500,000. Pre-proposals of 3-4 pages are due January 29. Find the details online or contact Jessica Hamill at Jham461@ecy.wa.gov or 425-649-7049.

The EPA is now accepting applications for the Urban Waters Small Grants Program, which funds activities targeting urban runoff through partnerships that produce multiple community benefits, with an emphasis on underserved communities. The two eligible project types this cycle are “Community Greening and Green Infrastructure” and “Communities and Water Quality Data.” Grant proposals between $40,000 and $60,000 are welcome. Apply by November 20. More details are in the request for proposals (pdf) or email urbanwaters@epa.gov.