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

State of the Sound report shows mixed results

Released November 2 by the Puget Sound Partnership, this year’s State of the Sound report indicates that some progress is being made to restore habitat, but population numbers for Chinook salmon, Southern Resident Killer Whales, herring, and other native species are not improving. Read the news release  or learn more on the State of the Sound website.

Drought - masonry pool water levelRead about likely effects of climate change on the Puget Sound region

The Puget Sound Institute has released an in-depth and readable report it commissioned from the UW Climate Impacts Group on how climate change will affect our region. Of particular interest is this piece on the ways climate change will affect Puget Sound’s biodiversity, bringing special challenges for salmon.

Support help for Puget Sound!

And speaking of Puget Sound, advocates are working hard in Washington, DC, right now to increase the visibility of the Puget Sound recovery effort and have the Sound designated a waterbody of national significance, on par with Chesapeake Bay and the Great Lakes. Consider whether your local government or organization could contact federal legislators urging support of the PUGET SOS Act, given that a healthy Sound is critical to salmon recovery. More information is here or view this video of Congressman Heck introducing the bill.

Wayne Golf course property still headed for development?

After announcing in June that he would sell the Wayne Golf Course “back nine” to conservation group Forterra, Bothell mayor and developer Joshua Freed has started the permitting process to build 50 houses there. Forterra and Freed say they are still working toward a sale, but the news worries community members, who have long hoped that this land along the Sammamish River could be saved for open space and salmon habitat.

See returning Kokanee on Kokanee Cam!

Kokanee cam

Through the end of December you can see kokanee in Ebright Creek in real time! Fish aren’t always in view, but often you can see fish moving upstream (right to left) as well as fins of fish holding right above the camera. You may also see redd building and spawning right in front of the camera! Occasionally you may see a “recorded” view when heavy rains make the water too turbid.

Thanks to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for funding the camera and to the landowner who allowed the camera to be placed on his property.

Learn and celebrate at Salmon in the City January 28th

Don’t miss this free event at Seattle’s Town Hall presented by Salmon-Safe and Stewardship Partners. Technical presentations will start at 3:30 on the 28th, highlighting innovations in sustainable urban design and development that protect water quality in and around Puget Sound. Wine tasting and celebration follows. Sponsored by King County GreenTools, Mountaineers and Bullitt Foundations. Contact Ellen at es@stewardshippartners.org for more info or visit Stewardship Partners' events page.

State and federal agencies in Oregon plan work to protect cold water "refugia"

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will work with NOAA Fisheries over the next three years on plans to locate, protect and restore zones of cold water habitat for fish in the Columbia and lower Willamette Rivers. When river temperatures rise, as they did last summer, cold water areas are crucial stopovers for salmonids on their way upstream to spawn.

Chinook salmonGive salmon a (copper-free) break!

Phasing in a 2010 law to reduce toxic material in automotive brake pads and shoes, Washington’s Department of Ecology urges motorists to ask for copper-free brakes to help salmon, who are particularly vulnerable to even trace levels of copper in rivers and streams.

NOAA releases new living shorelines guidance

Along sheltered coasts, “living shorelines” can improve habitat and promote resilient communities. Living shorelines use plants or other natural, “soft” elements instead of or in addition to bulkheads or riprap. Check out NOAA’s new Guidance for Considering the Use of Living Shorelines for more on how these techniques work.

Salmon in the news

Study adds 37 species to Salish Sea’s fish list, bringing total to 253
Published this fall, the first analysis of the Salish Sea fish population in 35 years puts the total number of fish species at 253, including 37 never before documented in the 6,500-square-mile expanse that includes Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the San Juan Islands and the Strait of Georgia.

Central Puget Sound salmon season closes three months early
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife closed the central Puget Sound’s salmon fishing season more than three months early – on October 18 – due to concerns about endangered Chinook.

Local salmon savior ready to take on his next fight
Known for his efforts to restore Ebright Creek for salmon habitat, Sammamish’s Wally Pereyra now hopes to bring back Zaccuse Creek on Lake Sammamish as a spawning ground for kokanee salmon.

Grant opportunities

State and local agencies, tribes and non-profits are eligible to apply for National Estuary Program (NEP) Watershed Protection and Restoration Grants offered by Washington’s Department of Ecology (DOE). Proposals to protect riparian areas in Puget Sound’s agricultural lands are due by January 31 and no match is required. For more information, contact Carrie Byron at carrie.byron@ecy.wa.gov  or 425-649-4451 or visit the Dept. of Ecology website.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is seeking proposals for the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program, which focuses on the stewardship and restoration of coastal, wetland, and riparian ecosystems. Non-profits, state and local governments, tribes, and educational institutions are eligible to apply. Awards range from $20,000 - $50,000, and a match of at least 1:1 is expected. Proposals are due February 3.

DOE is also accepting applications for the Floodplains by Design grant program. This project recruitment is for the 2017-19 state fiscal biennium, which begins July 1, 2017.  Pre-proposals describing your project that integrates flood hazard reduction with ecological restoration are due to Ecology on January 29. Details are available at the Dept. of Ecology website.

And finally, to inspire us for 2016 and beyond: