A new orca calf is born, two large habitat projects in the works, and job opportunities

This newsletter is also published at <http://www.govlink.org/watersheds/7/news/>

What's New in the Snoqualmie Watershed

In this edition...

Fall City Floodplain Restoration Project – Year 2 Construction Starts Soon

After a winter pause, construction of phase 2 will commence on May 8th. All left bank (southwest side) project elements were completed in 2022, including removing 1300’ of levee and constructing one-third mile of side channel habitat. Phase 2 on the right bank will include setting back 1400’ of revetment, removing 900’ of Neal Rd, and constructing a half mile of side channel habitat. This is the largest salmon recovery project to be built on the Snoqualmie River thus far and includes reconnecting the floodplain on both sides of the river for a total of almost 150 acres. A ribbon cutting celebration is being planned for fall ’23. For more details, see the project website.


Habitat Projects Planned for the Snoqualmie and South Fork Skykomish and Bull Trout – Where Are They?

If you are interested in finding out about the highest priority projects recommended for funding by the Snoqualmie Watershed Forum in 2023, or curious where bull trout are found in the watershed, please join us! The Snoqualmie Watershed Forum will meet at North Bend City Hall, and the meeting is open to the public. A detailed agenda will be available at the Snoqualmie Watershed Forum’s web site on May 10. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 17 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. To RSVP, please contact Renee Leichliter or call (206) 848-0836.


Let’s Plan Ahead for Flooding, Together

Flooding is part of a healthy ecosystem. It recharges our groundwater, can help improve water quality, and creates habitat for fish and wildlife. Of course, flooding can also be dangerous to people and our infrastructure.

King County is developing a plan that will shape flood-related programs and policies for years to come. Visit the 2024 King County Flood Management Plan engagement hub today. You can share what flooding problems concern you and what services would benefit your community in an online survey, open through June 30. You can also check out an upcoming events calendar or suggest events for King County to come to in your community.

For more information, visit kingcounty.gov/FloodPlan or contact Jason Wilkinson, 206-477-4786.



Snoqualmie Valley/Northeast King County Subarea Plan Public Review Period Starting in June

Do you live in an unincorporated part of the Snoqualmie Valley, Skykomish, or the King County side of Snoqualmie Pass? Do you like to think about what you want your area to be like in 20 years? If so, we have good news. As part of the 2024 Comprehensive Plan Update, the Department of Local Services will release a public review draft of the Snoqualmie Valley/NE King County Subarea Plan in early June and we want your feedback! The plan includes a vision, guiding principles, policies, as well as land use and zoning amendments specific to the Snoqualmie Valley and Northeast King County. Please visit us online to sign up for updates, which will be posted as June approaches.



King County Streams Monitor Newsletter Available

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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.

The Winter 2022-2023 issue summarizes water quality monitoring data for December 2022 through February 2023, and highlights King County's fish passage restoration efforts along Lake Sammamish tributaries.

View the Winter 2022/2023 issue, and sign up for future editions of the Streams Monitor.


Public Comment Invited on Snoqualmie Valley Agricultural Strategic Plan

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Photo credit: Audra Mulkern

The Snoqualmie Valley Agricultural Production District (SVAPD) Agriculture Task Force is seeking comments on its draft Agricultural Strategic Plan from May 4 through June 5.

The SVAPD Agriculture Task Force, made up of farmers and industry professionals in the commercial farming sector, drafted the Agricultural Strategic Plan to elevate the land resource needs for infrastructure, policy, and regulatory improvements for commercial farmers in the SVAPD and King County. While the plan’s scope was developed through the Snoqualmie Valley Fish, Farm, Flood initiative and King County has helped facilitate the process, it is a stand-alone product of the SVAPD Agriculture Task Force. The draft Plan is intended for farmers in the SVAPD, policy makers, and service providers to better understand data-based agriculture needs, implement solutions, and achieve results in the next 25 years.

Your input and comments are invited; please visit the Task Force web page to comment on the plan and sign up to get additional information about upcoming public meetings.


Events

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Join Wild Fish Conservancy, Beavers NW, and Partners for an Evening Discussing Beavers in the Snoqualmie Watershed!
Wild Fish Conservancy and Beavers Northwest will be hosting an in-person event June 8, 2023 from 5:00 to 6:30pm at the Carnation Farms Alpine Room. Join scientists, land managers, and neighbors to chat about the realities of living with beavers in the Snoqualmie Watershed. Presenters will discuss topics including beaver conflict solutions, options and resources available to reduce dam-caused flood impacts, beaver relocation and habitat restoration efforts, and how beavers and their habitats benefit the environment. Come share your concerns and/or interest for beaver coexistence in the Snoqualmie Watershed. Please visit the meeting website to RSVP and see updates on our presenters as we approach the event date. We look forward to seeing you there!

Salish Scientists Summer Camp – Sound Salmon Solutions
Salish Scientists is a week-long, outdoor day camp for students in grades 4 to 6 or grades 6 to 8 located at the Willow Creek Salmon & Watershed Education Center and hatchery in Edmonds. Your child will get to explore a wetland, investigate water quality, and learn to be a steward to their environment, all while meeting new friends and growing their independence. Salish Scientists will empower students with the knowledge to make waves within their communities and will have students diving into the realm of scientific inquiry and using professional tools to complete their own research of freshwater, marsh, and coastal ecosystems. Learn more and register online.

Summer Events with the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust
The Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust is gearing up for a busy (and fun!) spring and summer of events across the landscape. Please consider joining us for a habitat restoration volunteer event; our Spring Breakfast and interactive mission experiences (including birding, kayaking, guided hikes, and more) on May 20; or one of our Explore the Greenway trips! Visit our Events Calendar for more information and to sign up.

King County’s Annual Free Online Weed Management Workshop Series is Here! Check Out the Agendas and Register Now.
10 topics, 2 days, 8 pesticide applicator continuing education credits, and all things weeds! Get Into the Weeds with the King County Noxious Weed Control Program in their annual weed management workshop series. This free online event will happen live via Zoom over two half-day sessions. Each day will have 5 new topics and speakers, with the opportunity to earn up to 4 WSDA or ODA pesticide recertification credits each day. We hope you’ll join us!

Check out the agendas and sign up for each day separately here:

For questions/comments, email the program team. To learn more about the King County Noxious Weed Control Program visit us online, and follow us on Instagram @kingcountyweeds.

StormFest Seeks Educators, Interpreters, and Volunteers by May 8
StormFest is an outdoor learning event with 6th and 7th grade Highline School District students using STEM and stormwater lessons for hands-on learning. At this outdoor event, students learn about their local watershed, sources of pollution, and engineering solutions to prevent stormwater pollution. Check out this past StormFest video to see how students interact with environmental education. Volunteers gain experience in best practices for environmental education and interacting with students from a variety of cultures. Bilingual station educators and interpreters will be paid stipends. Eligible King County employees can use leave for volunteer hours.

When & where

  • Training day (required for station educators, optional for interpreters and volunteers): May 31, 8:30am-12:30pm, Des Moines Beach Park, 22030 Cliff Ave South, Des Moines WA
  • Event days: June 6, 7, and 8, 8am-3:30pm, Des Moines Beach Park, 22030 Cliff Ave South, Des Moines WA

How do you want to help?

  • Station educators: Co-teach a fun, interactive stormwater lesson.
  • There are several dual-language Spanish classes, so we are excited for some educators to teach the lessons in Spanish. Station educators are eligible to receive a stipend for their participation. Learn more and apply.
  • Interpreters: Work with station educators to describe and engage students in fun science. Interpreters are eligible to receive a stipend for their participation. Learn more and apply.
  • Volunteers: Help keep event activities on schedule, running smoothly, and full of fun! Learn more and apply.

Applications close on May 8. If you have any questions about the event or recruitment, please email HighlineStormFest@gmail.com.

2023 Western Washington Forest Field Day
The Western Washington Forest Owners Field Day is 8 a.m., Saturday, June 10, at Pack Forest, Eatonville, bringing together experts from WSU Extension Forestry, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, and the University of Washington. View for more details.

Agricultural Drainage and Fish Passage Project Tour
Join King Conservation District at Remlinger Farms on May 13th from 9:30 – 12:30 to learn about agricultural drainage and fish passage projects on rural lands. Tour the completed projects and discuss the benefits of these types of projects for land managers and local wildlife.

Sediment removal projects help reduce flooding and riparian plantings help reduce future sediment accumulation. Controlling weedy species, like reed canary grass, improves habitat quality for fish and other wildlife. If you have questions about these projects and the assistance available, or if you have a hard time imagining what a riparian buffer would look like on your property, then this is the tour for you. See details and register.


Upcoming Funding Opportunities

Cooperative Watershed Management Grant Program – Closed (reopens late Fall 2023)
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). The 2023 grant round saw 17 strong projects through its full application, and presentations. Snoqualmie Forum staff will present the project list with funding recommendation at the May 17th Snoqualmie Watershed Forum meeting.

If you are interested in learning more about the CWM grant program and if your project might be a good fit, please contact Erin Ryan-Peñuela, Project Coordinator. The 2024 CWM grant round will open in mid-late November of 2023.

Farm King County

Apply for a 2023 Flood Reduction Grant!
The King County Flood Control District (District) has made available at least $12 million in grant funding for projects that reduce the impact of flooding. The deadline to apply for a 2023 grant is May 25. The program targets flood reduction projects throughout King County. The District is specifically interested in reaching tribes, homeowner associations, non-profit organizations, schools, special purpose districts, cities, towns, and agencies in King County. Grants awarded in the past have ranged from $10,000 to $1.5 million.

To qualify for funding, projects must directly address existing or potential flooding. Projects that achieve multiple benefits are encouraged. Please visit the Flood Reduction Grants webpage for more information. Email Kim Harper or call 206-477-6079 with questions.

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – Grant Opportunities Open Now!
For more opportunities for ecosystem recovery in Puget Sound through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, 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 on 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

Southern Resident Orca Buffer bill clears Washington legislature | Islands' Weekly

WA could get millions in federal salmon recovery dollars | The Seattle Times

State of salmon is no rosy picture, UAF professor says

| Alaska Public Media

Tribe to fish for salmon on Elwha River a decade after dams fell | The Seattle Times

Can the United Nations help save Pacific salmon? | Crosscut

Cold water, diverse survival strategies may be key to Chinook salmon success in a changing climate | Phys

Inbreeding hinders population recovery among endangered Southern Resident killer whales | UW Puget Sound Institute

PUGET SOS brings new funding and a federal makeover | UW Puget Sound Institute

Scientists try to keep up with chemical blizzard entering Puget Sound | KUOW



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.

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 this mailing list, or if you would like to submit an item for inclusion in the next Snoqualmie Watershed Forum e-newsletter, please send an email to Renee Leichliter or call 206-848-0836.

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