What's New in the Snoqualmie Watershed
Snoqualmie Watershed Forum

In this edition...

Researchers identify chemical causing urban runoff mortality in coho salmon

Researchers at the University of Washington Tacoma have identified a mysterious compound implicated in the deaths of large numbers of coho salmon in Puget Sound. The chemical is linked with a rubber additive commonly used in tires and is thought to kill more than half of the spawning coho that enter the region's urban streams every year. This exciting new research is directly related to and complements the investigations Forum staff and partners are currently conducting to find coho urban runoff mortality syndrome across the Snohomish Basin.

While it's unfortunate that this preservative appears to be used in most tires, the research paves the way for development of a salmon-safe tire in the future. The research was published in Science and profiled in the Seattle Times and the Salish Sea Currents magazine.

Photo: Mark Stone, University of Washington

How do you connect with the Snoqualmie River?

The Snoqualmie Tribe is studying the river ecology and landscape processes in the Upper Snoqualmie Corridor and will develop a plan to share how conditions are expected to change in a warming climate. The Tribe invites stories to hear your thoughts and feelings regarding the Snoqualmie River, changes, and a resilient future.

The Snoqualmie Tribe's survey is live on the Tribal website. The Tribe invites your thoughts and creative responses through storytelling, art submissions, photos, videos, and more!

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an interview with the project team, contact Matt Baerwalde.

Do you live in the Snoqualmie Valley/Northeast King County? Department of Local Services wants to hear from you!

King County Department of Local Services is compiling community-identified needs on programs, services, and capital investments that the county will use in developing budgets. Please provide your requests and input for the Snoqualmie Valley by the end of March 2021 by going to www.publicinput.com/SnoValleyNEKC or contact Jacqueline Reid or 206 263 2052.

Video: Helicopter places large wood in the South Fork Tolt River for fish

During October 2020, a Chinook helicopter flew low over the South Fork Tolt River, placing 194 enormous logs into the river. Some of the logs weighed as much as 23,000 pounds. Large wood jams—something the Tolt once had plenty of but now lacks—improve habitat for Chinook salmon and winter and summer steelhead by creating deep pools, slow water and hiding places that fish need. The Tolt Fish Advisory Committee planned and implemented the project. Agencies involved include Seattle City Light, Seattle Public Utilities, Tulalip Tribes, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and NOAA Fisheries. Learn more by reading a summary of the project.

Washington researchers increase scale of invasive green crab trapping

Staff at the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve are teaming up with WDFW and Washington Sea Grant to increase their shoreline trapping efforts for the invasive European green crab in the Padilla Bay and Samish estuaries. The green crab species, if left unchecked, will invade the habitats and food sources of other species in the area, the Skagit Valley Herald reported. Green crabs have not yet been spotted in the Snohomish estuary, although the Snohomish is at high risk for an invasion. To report a green crab sighting, visit the website.

Camp Brown Day Use Area opens in Middle Fork Snoqualmie Valley

View of one of the picnic sites along the river at Camp Brown in the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Valley

There's a new way to experience the upper Snoqualmie watershed with the opening of Camp Brown Day Use Area! Located approximately 11 miles down the Middle Fork Road, this gently meandering half-mile loop trail, built following Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards, provides scenic views of the congressionally-designated Wild and Scenic Middle Fork Snoqualmie River and majestic Garfield Mountain. Visitors will also enjoy picnic sites with charcoal grates, as well as a series of interpretive signs along the trail.

Mountains to Sound Greenway Education Program goes virtual

A screenshot from one of the Mountains to Sound Greenway NHA's virtual education videos

The Mountains to Sound Greenway Education Program was among the many informal environmental education programs disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. MTSGT had to cancel in-person programming for over 2,000 students during spring 2020 when the outbreak began, and they have now cancelled in-person programming for more than 2,000 students in the current school year.

To support remote learning for students, MTSGT transformed two of their most popular curriculums into video series paired with at-home activities. They also virtualized the summer internship they run in partnership with King County to offer a four-week, online Clean Water Ambassador Certificate Program during July, which had 38 participants. Be sure to check out the MTSGT Youtube Channel!

Workshops and Conferences

Save the Date: 2021 Salmon Recovery Conference!
The 2021 Salmon Recovery Conference will be held virtually from April 27-30, 2021. The conference theme — Building a Movement — reflects where we are in the arc of recovery and the importance of coming together to grow our partnership base. Washington State needs to continue to build a movement to complete the work we began 20 years ago to recover Washington's iconic salmon.

Funding Opportunities

King County Cooperative Watershed Management Grant Program
Eligible projects: Habitat protection and restoration projects, stewardship projects and programs, and feasibility studies and monitoring in the Snoqualmie & South Fork Skykomish watersheds.
Key Dates: Notice of Intent (NOI) due February 1st, 2021; Final Applications are due on April 5th, 2021. Please send the NOI and applications to Cory Zyla, Snoqualmie Watershed Forum.
Funding available: Approximately $1.9 Million
Match Requirement: none.

Snohomish (WRIA 7) Salmon Recovery Funding Board Grant Program
Eligible Projects: Project proposals that implement strategies identified in the Snohomish River Basin Salmon Conservation Plan and are eligible under the guidelines identified in RCO's Manual 18.
Key Dates: Project sponsors must submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) to apply via email to Gretchen Glaub, Snohomish Basin Lead Entity Coordinator by January 6, 2020. Full applications will be due in Spring 2021 (date TBD).
Funding Available: Approximately $511K.
Match Requirement: 15%

Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program 2021 RFP
Eligible Projects: Projects include a variety of ecological improvements along with targeted community outreach, education and stewardship. Ecological improvements may include one or more of the following: wetland, riparian, forest and coastal habitat restoration; wildlife conservation, community tree canopy enhancement, water quality monitoring and green infrastructure best management practices for managing run-off.
Who Can Apply: Eligible applicants include non-profit 501(c) organizations, state government agencies, local governments, municipal governments, Indian tribes and educational institutions.
Key Dates: Full Proposal Due Date: January 28, 2021 by 11:59 PM Eastern Time.
Funding Available: $1,500,000 (nationwide). There is one round of full proposals annually for this program. Awards range from $20,000 to $50,000 with an average size of $35,000 and 40-50 grants awarded per year. Grants should span 12 to 18 months with a start date in late summer/early fall 2021.
Match Requirement: projects are required to meet or exceed a 1:1 match ratio. See website for details regarding what qualifies as match.

USFS Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program
Eligible projects: Establishment of community forests through fee simple acquisition of private forest land from a willing seller.
Who Can Apply: A local governmental entity, Indian Tribe (including Alaska Native Corporations), or a qualified nonprofit organization that is qualified to acquire and manage land.
Key Dates: Applications due January 11th, 2021.
Funding available: $600,000 max award.
Match: 50% match required cash, in-kind services, or donations, which shall be from a non-Federal source

Department of Ecology Integrated Planning Grant (IPG)
Did you know that local governments can apply for grants and loans to support your communities' cleanup and redevelopment efforts? Here are upcoming grant and loan opportunities from Ecology's Toxics Cleanup Program, and important information that local governments need to know before they apply.
Eligible projects: Environmental site assessments; Remedial investigations; Health assessments; Feasibility studies; Site planning; Community involvement; Land use and regulatory analyses; Building and infrastructure assessments; Economic and fiscal analyses; and Environmental analyses as defined in state law.
Who Can Apply: Available to local governments that own or are considering acquisition, cleanup, and redevelopment of a brownfield property or multiple brownfield properties.
Funding available: $2,000,000 for 2019—2021 Biennium. Grant award limit: $200,000 for a single site and $300,000 for a study area with multiple sites.
Match: none.
Key Dates: Applications will open December 1, 2020. To be considered for the next funding evaluation cycle, submit your application by January 29, 2021.
More information: Please review: 2018—21 Remedial Action Grants for Local Governments. Contact Shanyese Trujillo, Remedial Action Grant Manager or (360) 407-7199/ (360) 628-2451.

Department of Commerce — Energy Efficiency Grants Available
Commerce will award approximately $3.5 million (max. applicant award of $500K) in funding for energy efficiency retrofits at existing facilities that result in energy and operational cost savings. Applications are due on January 29th, 2021.

Salmon and Orca in the News

How Scientists Tracked Down a Mass Killer (of Salmon)
Something was decimating the salmon that had been restored to creeks around Puget Sound.

Southern Resident Orcas Welcome Two New Babies to Their Pod
Two orca calves were born in September by two females in the J pod, bringing the number of southern resident orcas to 74.

U.S. Justice Department Suing over Puyallup River Pollution
The U.S. Justice Department is suing the owners of the Electron dam for violating the Clean Water Act by polluting the Puyallup River.

U.S. Rep. Kim Schrier Backs Takedown of Electron Dam on Puyallup River
U.S. Representative Kim Schrier has added her voice to the chorus calling for the removal of the Electron Hydroelectric Project on the Puyallup River, saying the dam's cost to salmon is not worth it.

Unique Idaho Salmon Numbers Rise, but Extinction Looms
A unique population of Chinook salmon that for thousands of years has been reproducing in one of Idaho's wildest places experienced a small increase in adults returning to spawn this year.

Limits for whale watch boats ignore larger problem
Restricting orca excursions won't help whales unable to find enough salmon in the Puget Sound.

What Biden's agenda on the environment could mean for the Pacific Northwest
Incoming Biden administration expected to return to science as the basis for environmental policymaking and re-engage on critical issues such as climate change and cost-shares for protecting clean water in Puget Sound.

PSAR critical habitat and restoration projects help communities, salmon, and the economy
Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration program releases large capital ranked project list for 2021-2023, noting how PSAR projects have created more than 3,400 jobs in the last 13 years.

From Poop to Power: Manure from 2,300 Cows may Run 600 Homes
Waste from dairy cows and food is being used to provide electricity in Snohomish County.

And, as always, remember that the beautiful "From Mt. Si to Wild Sky" watershed posters — featuring the photography of talented Valley residents — are available FREE from Carla Nelson or by calling 206-263-3050.

The Snoqualmie Watershed Forum works to protect and restore the health of the SF Skykomish and Snoqualmie Watersheds in harmony with the cultural and community needs of the Valley.

If you would like to be added or removed from the Snoqualmie Watershed Forum mailing list, or if you would like to submit an item for inclusion in the next Snoqualmie Watershed Forum e-newsletter, please contact Carla Nelson.

Funding for this publication is provided by King County Flood Control District.