WRIA 9 Partner American Rivers Publishes New Study!

Restoration supports Revenue! This is the lead finding from a recent American Rivers report on the Economic Outcomes of Urban Floodplain Restoration and shows that restoration of our urban rivers can result in positive net impacts to local and state budgets. In light of the economic impacts of COVID-19, it is critical to understand and articulate the economic outcomes of our efforts as we work to restore healthy, functional rivers, increase equitable access to open space and sustainably grow our economies in the future. Our intent is that this report can serve as a resource for communities as they develop plans and policies to achieve multiple benefits along their rivers.

This project would not be possible without our dedicated consultants from ECONorthwest and Environmental Science Associates the generous financial support of our partners at the King County Flood Control District, Watershed Resource Inventory Area (WRIA) #9, the Urban Waters Federal Partnership, The Russell Family Foundation and the Bullitt Foundation.

Swim Duwamish Video

In 2015, Mark Powell swam from the headwaters of Green-Duwamish River in the Cascade Mountains to the river’s end in the saltwater of Puget Sound. From June to October, he swam 85 miles from the meandering, pristine start of the river to the polluted superfund end of the river. This site chronicles his journey. Video by Washington Environmental Council.

WRIA 9 2020 Legislative Priorities

Please share WRIA 9's 2020 state and federal legislative priorities.

Learn about issues in WRIA 9 through the 1st annual Green-Duwamish Sustainability TALKS

WRIA 9 staff and partners participated in a series of 8-minute expert talks on the Green Duwamish Watershed in 2018. Sustainability TALKS are produced by Sustainability Ambassadors in patnerhsip with Auburn School District, WRIA 9 and on behalf of schools throughout Puget Sound. The 2nd annual event took place in May of 2019. All videos from the event can be found on Sustainability Ambassadors' website.

Re-Green the Green from Sustainability Ambassadors on Vimeo.

What Do Our Chinook Salmon Need? from Sustainability Ambassadors on Vimeo.

Re-Plumbing our Entire Watershed from Sustainability Ambassadors on Vimeo.

It's Salmon SEEson again!

It's Salmon SEEson again in WRIA 9! Stop by our suggested salmon viewing sites this fall to catch a sight of salmon returning upstream to spawn. Two newest viewing sites are at Miller and Walker Creeks in Normandy Park. Returning sites include Longfellow Creek, a few sites along the Duwamish River, the Whitney Bridge across the Green River, and the Soos Creek Hatchery.

Follow Lisa Parsons' flight over the Green River Gorge and Howard Hanson Dam with aerial photos

From the Air Above, by Lisa Parsons

Photo courtesy of Lisa Parsons

WRIA 9 Staff and Partners Presented at Green Infrastructure Partnership Meeting

Doug Osterman, WRIA 9 Salmon Recovery Manager, was joined by Louisa Harding, Postdoctoral Researcher at WSU; Jenée Colton, Aquatic Toxicologist at King County; Heidi Kandathil, Project Manager for Our Green/Duwamish at King County; and Blair Scott, Water Quality Planner/Assistant Municipal Stormwater Permit Coordinator at King County for a presentation on stormwater and contaminant impacts on Chinook salmon.

More information on the Green Infrastructure Partnership can be found here.

The powerpoint presentation from the 4/19 meeting can be downloaded here (Adobe 33 MB) or here (PPT 77 MB).

Watch videos from the Green Duwamish Symposium

Keynote Address: Meeting Critical Watershed Challenges, Josh Baldi, Director of Land & Water Resources Division, King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks

Panel 1: Critical Thinking

Green Duwamish Salmon Adaptive Management Update, Doug Osterman, WRIA 9

It All Flows Downstream: Exploring restoration of upland watershed health in the Upper Green's National Forest Lands, Jen Watkins, Conservation NW

Green River Management Challenges of a Municipal Water Source, Greg Volkhardt, Tacoma Water PUD

Adaptive Management of Forest Lands for Source Water Protection, Nikola Smith, US Forest Service

Lunch Discussion Group: Deep Dive into WRIA 9 Chinook Salmon Plan Update, WRIA 9 Team


thank you letter for Puget Sound Day on the Hill


Lobbying effort brings 60 Puget Sound recovery partners to DC

In this summary, Puget Sound Partnership Director Sheida Sahandy recaps the “Puget Sound Day on the Hill” effort in early May that brought dozens of recovery partners to Washington, D.C. to convey to members of Congress the value and importance of protecting Puget Sound. Among the attendees was Doug Osterman, WRIA 9 Salmon Recovery Manager. The summary recaps highlights of the event and provides a good update on the status of federal priorities for the Sound. Thanks to The Nature Conservancy, a website was created to share the many inspiring recovery projects taking place around the Sound; WRIA 9’s Maury Island and Quartermaster Harbor, Seahurst Park, and Duwamish Gardens are featured.

Washington's Senators advocate for salmon recovery funding

The Capital Building in Washington DCOn May 24, Washington Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, with other West Coast Senators, sent a letter to President Trump urging him to reinstate funding for the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund (PCSRF) cut in the Administration’s FY 2018 budget. The Senators cite the progress made in salmon recovery with PCSRF funds and the critical role of salmon in the economic, cultural and ecosystem health of the region.

In mid June, the WRIA 9 Watershed Ecosystem Forum sent letters to all Republican members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives thanking them for their support for federal salmon recovery funding, and to urge them to reinstate and appropriately fund PCSRF to continue important progress in salmon recovery.

What will conditions be like in the watershed this summer?

Snowpack in the Cascade Mountains, Washington StateAs you no doubt noticed, our region just experienced one of its wettest and coldest winters and springs on record! Snowpack was abundant this year and regional water supplies are in good shape right now. However, NOAA predicts higher than normal temperatures for the Northwest over the next three months, with precipitation likely near normal. Remember that low flows and high water temperatures can affect salmon even if there is not a drought. And using water wisely is always a good idea to help fish! Keep current on current and forecasted conditions at:

Get ready for the River Festival!

Work has begun on preparations for the 11th annual River Festival in August! Our event coordinator Rosario is pulling together the event committee and they are making plans for activity booths, entertainment, education, food, and of course the return of Lucha Libre! Stay tuned for ways to get involved in this celebration of Seattle’s only river.

For information or to learn how to volunteer, contact Rosario Medina at

Mark your calendars:

Learn about knotweed control June 28 in Maple Valley
Learn about this invasive weed and how to control it, and borrow control equipment free at a knotweed workshop at the Maple Valley Library. More information about this and other trainings and weeds of concern is available.

Early notice! Climate conference in Tacoma October 10-11
Plan now to attend the Eighth Annual Northwest Climate Conference: Working Together to Build a Resilient Northwest. Each year the conference brings together more than 300 researchers and practitioners from around the region to discuss scientific findings, challenges, and solutions related to the impacts of climate on people, natural resources, and infrastructure in the northwestern United States and southwestern Canada. 

Salmon in the news:

Court rules state must fix culverts that block salmon passage (Seattle Times)

NW researchers note that changing ocean chemistry is making it harder for salmon to small danger (KUOW)

Floodplain projects open doors to fewer floods and more salmon
Rainbow Bend is featured in this article about Floodplains by Design (Encyclopedia of Puget Sound)

California salmon scientists say wild Chinook could all but vanish from the state within 100 years (NPR)

GreenRiverGorgeGreen River Gorge Greenway, A Visual Journey

The Green River Gorge is located between the communities of Black Diamond and Enumclaw, connecting the foothills of the Cascade mountains to the Puget Sound lowlands of the Green River Valley. It's rugged remoteness creates a unique opportunity to preserve this wilderness landscape next to a growing urban area of over two million residents...if we act now. In 2016 Lisa Parsons hiked the entire 12-mile long Gorge and created an exhibition of photography, video, written word, and social medial outreach of the Gorge and her journey. Learn more at Lisa is looking for a variety of locations in the watershed to exhibit the work and give presentions on the documentary and her hike down the Gorge. Contact her at if you know of available venues.

See it? Report it! Help stop the spread of invasives - with your phone!

An updated app from the Washington Invasive Species Council lets you report - via your phone: unusual sightings of potential invasive species, whether it’s a new plant taking over your local park or a strange fish you reel in. Once experts verify your report, it becomes part of a nation-wide system tracking invasives. Learn more at

Funding available!

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is accepting grant proposals for funding from the Killer Whale Research and Conservation Program (KWRCP), whose mission is to study and protect killer whales in the wild. Program priorities include supporting projects that increase prey availability, including “riparian and nearshore habitat restoration projects for Chinook salmon in Puget Sound.” Proposals are due July 13; eligible applicants include non-profits, state, federal and local governments, tribes, schools and businesses. Learn more from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation website.