What's New in the Snoqualmie Watershed
In this edition...
Snohomish County Gets $5.85M to Help More Local Salmon Survive to Adulthood
Snohomish County accepted a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Coastal Resilience Fund to remove a levee and restore and connect natural floodplain along a 1.5 mile stretch of the Snohomish River near Thomas' Eddy. The total investment in this project comes to $7,964,800, including a $2,120,000 contribution from Snohomish County to leverage the federal grant. This will restore hydraulic connection to over 200 acres of Snohomish River floodplain and provide critical rearing and spawning habitat for the Snohomish Basin's two Chinook populations, as well as other salmon and trout. It will also improve trail conditions and recreational access. The project is supported by diverse stakeholders and partners, including: Tulalip Tribes, Snohomish County Parks, Pilchuck Audubon Society, Sustainable Lands Strategy, the Snohomish Basin Salmon Recovery Forum, Trout Unlimited and the Northwest Swan Conservation Association.
"Snohomish County is honored to receive this grant, allowing us to complete the Thomas' Eddy Floodplain Restoration Project and make more progress on my Puget Sound Initiative," said Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers. "We want to thank Senator Cantwell's office for her support in securing this funding and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for partnering with us. When this project is complete, critical habitat for threatened salmon will be restored, the Snohomish River floodplain will be more resilient, and there will be improved public access for people to fish, hike, and enjoy the beauty of Snohomish County's Bob Heirman Wildlife Park."
FoxQ13 covered this story. See additional background on the Thomas' Eddy Floodplain Hydraulic Reconnection project.
Snoqualmie Tribe Concludes Restoration Work at the Barfuse Levee Site as Part of Fall City Floodplain Restoration Project
2022 marks the end of the Snoqualmie Tribe's onsite work at the left bank area of the Fall City Floodplain Restoration Project. Between 2019 and 2022, Tribe staff and Washington Conservation Corps crews installed 14,304 native plants and treated 16 acres of noxious weeds on site. Most of the plants were installed before project construction, allowing a jump start on floodplain forest restoration. The Tribe would like to thank the funders who supported this work, including the King County Flood Control District, King County 1 Million Trees program, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, and EPA Region 10.
North Bend City Council Accepts $1,925,000 in Grants to Enhance Flood Storage and Transportation
Two grants totaling $1,925,000 will help North Bend with projects that preserve flood storage and transportation enhancements. These grants come from the Puget Sound Regional Council for the South Fork Avenue Extension Bypass Capital Project ($967,500, matched by $157,500 from the City), and the King County Open Space – River Corridors Grant for the South Fork Snoqualmie River Levee Setback Capital Project ($800,000). The South Fork Avenue Extension Bypass Capital Project will include preliminary engineering and design for extending South Fork Avenue Southwest to West North Bend Way, which will reduce traffic volumes and emissions impacts downtown and improve safety. The South Fork Snoqualmie River Levee Setback Capital Project will create more flood storage to reduce flooding during large storms. Mayor Rob McFarland celebrated the upcoming work that will "enhance the livability of North Bend, providing safer transportation and a healthier riverbed."
Winter 2023 Online Forest Stewardship Coached Planning Course – Puget Sound Section
Natural beauty, wildlife, ecosystem health, harvest income, family ties, privacy, and peace and quiet are some of the many reasons people value their forested property. Whatever your values and objectives are, this comprehensive, university-based forestry class offered by Washington State University Extension's Forestry program will help you get the most out of the land you love. Whether you have just a few wooded acres or a larger forest tract, if you have trees on your property, this class is for you.
Wednesdays January 25th - March 22nd, 6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
King Conservation District Native Plant Sale Now Open!
The King Conservation District Native Plant Sale has a wide selection of native trees, shrubs, and groundcovers. Preorders are now being accepted and will be until all plants are sold. Pickup for your order is March 4 & 5, 2023. Many species sell out fast, so order early for the best selection.
The sale offers a variety of native trees and shrubs for conservation purposes such as wildlife habitat, windbreaks, hedgerows, reforestation, and stream enhancement. They also work great on home and garden projects. A majority of the plants offered are bareroot stock which means they do not come in pots or burlap bags but are harvested from the field in winter when the plants are dormant and ready to be replanted. Bareroot plants are affordable, hardy, have well-developed roots, and are easy to handle, transport and plant.
Check out the KCD Native Plant Sale! Reach out with any questions.
951 Acres of Wetland Habitat Conserved Thanks to Ducks Unlimited and Partners
Ducks Unlimited, along with many partners, conserved 951 acres of wetland and waterfowl habitat in WRIA 7 thanks to a US Fish and Wildlife - North Puget Sound, North American Wetland Conservation Act grant completed this year. Conserved habitat in the Snohomish basin includes 7 project sites, at least 2.7 miles of riparian buffers and hedgerows, three managed drainage projects on working lands, and 8 acres of dense willow plantings. The successful delivery of the grant was made possible by the cooperation of the wider restoration community, including original grant partners Snohomish County, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Sound Salmon Solutions, as well as additional support from King County Agricultural Drainage Assistance Program, Cooperative Watershed Management grant program, Snoqualmie Valley Watershed Improvement District, King Conservation District, and Oxbow Farm. Special thanks also to Cherry Valley Drainage District, Snoqualmie Springs Farm, and Roetcisoender Dairy.
The full range of the project spanned 13 sites across King, Snohomish, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties, with a total of 1,491 acres of conserved habitat and 4+ miles of riparian plantings. Ducks Unimited thanks its partners, who helped deliver their mission to conserve, restore, and manage wetlands and associated habitats for North America's waterfowl. For more information contact: C.K. Eidem, firstname.lastname@example.org, 425-239-4048.
King County Streams Monitor Newsletter Available
The King County Streams Monitor is a quarterly digest of King County's monthly streams monitoring data. King County performs monthly sampling at 75 locations across the county, monitoring for 13 water quality parameters. The newsletter summarizes the water quality and hydrology data and includes various topics from stream history to water quality issues.
View the Summer 2022 issue, and sign up for future editions.
North Bend Celebrates Arbor Day with Middle Fork Planting
Members of the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, North Bend Boy Scout Troop 466, community volunteers, and North Bend Mayor Rob McFarland came together for another successful Arbor Day event in North Bend. Mayor McFarland proclaimed November 12, 2022 Arbor Day, and expressed his appreciation for the outpouring of support from the community. "We acknowledge a shared responsibility in protecting the health of the Snoqualmie River, and that the efforts we make today will be felt many years from now," he said.
Thanks to more than 20 volunteers, native trees and shrubs are now freshly planted along the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River, across from the Snoqualmie Valley Trail at Southeast Tanner Road. In addition to celebrating Arbor Day, the planting event is part of a larger shoreline forest rehabilitation effort the city is pursuing in partnership with the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust. This year's Arbor Day event was funded by tree mitigation funds from the Tanner Electric transmission line project.
New Staff Join the Snoqualmie Watershed Forum
The Snoqualmie Watershed Forum staff at King County welcomed two new members in November.The team is now complete! Erin Ryan-Peñuela (top right photo), Project Coordinator, comes to us from Puget Sound Partnership where she coordinated the Local Integrating Organization (LIO) program and co-led the effort to rotate Partnership Boards to better focus and address local environmental issues. She brings a variety of skills and experience spanning green stormwater policy, community-based research and education, and communications. Norah Kates (bottom right photo), Technical Coordinator, moved over from a previous position at King County's Science and Technical Support Section, where she worked on water quality and stormwater projects in the Toxicology and Contaminant Assessment Unit. Her background also includes environmental chemistry, habitat restoration, restoration planning, and community engagement. Erin and Norah join Elissa Ostergaard and Renee Leichliter in staffing the Forum and look forward to working with you all in the coming months and years.
Upcoming Funding Opportunities
Cooperative Watershed Management Grant Program – Now Open!
Restoration & Protection - Education & Outreach - Monitoring & Assessments
Each year, the King County Flood Control District (FCD) allocates a portion of its capital budget to fund implementation of Water Resource Inventory Area (WRIA) Forum priority activities via the Cooperative Watershed Management Grant Program (CWM). For the 2023 grant round, the FCD has approved $2,131,433 to fund watershed restoration and protection projects in the Snoqualmie & South Fork Skykomish Watersheds.
Project Sponsors are asked to submit a Notice of Intent to Apply by January 23, 2023. Check out the website for details or contact Erin Ryan-Peñuela, Project Coordinator.
Snohomish Basin 2023 Salmon Recovery Grant Round Request for Proposals will OPEN mid-December 2022!
The Snohomish Basin Lead Entity will be soliciting proposals for projects that implement strategies identified in the Snohomish River Basin Salmon Conservation Plan. The LE expects to allocate upwards of $750K in state Salmon Recovery Funding Board (SRFB) and Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration (PSAR) funding*.
Notices of Intent to apply will be due in mid-winter 2023. Visit the 2023 Snohomish Basin Grant Round webpage for full details.
*Available amount may change
King County Parks Levy — Open Space River Corridors Grant Program – Open in January!
The Open Space River Corridors Grant Program supports projects that help restore the natural functions of rivers, create or restore public access, and/or increase public awareness of river corridors as valuable natural resources. This grant program incentivizes multi-benefit projects that integrate recreation and habitat restoration with larger floodplain management efforts.
Approximately $9.9 million is available in 2023 for projects within King County, with maximum awards of up to $1 million per project. Grant recipients can use these funds for all stages of project implementation: acquisition, feasibility, design, construction, and project-specific outreach. Applications will be released on January 17th and due March 15th, 2023 at 5:00 p.m.. The next grant opportunity for this biennial program is expected early 2025.
Visit the King County Parks Grants website or email Rusty Milholland for more information about this program and other King County Parks funding opportunities.
King County Conservation Futures accepting applications through March 6th, 2023
Conservation Futures grants can help acquire parks and open spaces for passive recreation such as urban greenspaces, natural areas, forests, community gardens, farms, and trails. There may be opportunities to partner on green stormwater acquisitions or help create open space or community gardens near affordable housing developments.
Visit King County Conservation Futures for more information or contact Ingrid Lundin.
Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill – Grant Opportunities Open Now!
For more opportunities for ecosystem recovery in Puget Sound through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, please check out a searchable table on the Puget Sound Partnership website. Project sponsors can filter funding opportunities by open grant round, eligible entities, recovery focus, and more.
Grant rounds opening later in 2023:
Brian Abbott Fish Barrier Removal Board (BAFBRB): A biennial grant cycle focused correcting fish passage barriers that impact salmonids. The BAFBRB 2025-2027 funding cycle is expected to open in October-November of 2023.
Floodplains by Design (FbD): A biennial grant cycle focused on re-establishing floodplain functions in Washington's major river corridors. The FbD 2025-27 funding cycle is expected to open in late 2023.
Streamflow Restoration: A biennial grant cycle focused improving streamflows, such as altered water management, water right acquisition, water storage, feasibility studies, and floodplain, riparian, and wetland restoration. The Streamflow Restoration 2025-27 funding cycle is expected to open in late 2023.
The Terry Husseman Account (THA) grant program: Grant round focused on locally sponsored projects that restore or enhance the natural environment. The 2023 grant round cancelled due to low revenue. The next THA grant funding cycle is expected to open in January-February 2024 .
Salmon and Orca in the News
Low rainfall leads to an odd and changing year for salmon, killer whales and people — Puget Sound Institute
Lawsuit seeks to block southeast Alaska troll fishing to increase salmon for orcas — Puget Sound Institute
Washington agency report suggests 1,000-yard buffer around endangered Southern Resident orcas — KHQ
Life Was Built Around Snow. What Happens When It Vanishes? — The New York Times
Breaching Dams ‘Must Be an Option' to Save Salmon, Washington Democrats Say — The New York Times
State Board awards nearly $76 Million in grants to fund salmon recovery projects — Snoqualmie Valley Record
Rare Southern Resident Orca Superpod Visits Vashon — Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber
Southern Resident orcas spotted in Salish Sea for more than two weeks — King 5 News
Quiet, please: Ships slow down for orcas — Whidbey News-Times
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 Renee Leichliter or by calling 206-848-0836.