Estuary restoration has been identified as a priority in the Skagit Chinook Recovery Plan 2005. Based on the findings of the Fir Island Farm Snow Goose Reserve Restoration Feasibility Study (2011), WDFW’s preferred 130 acre restoration site will significantly contribute to the recovery of Skagit Chinook salmon by restoring 126 acres of tidal marsh habitat, restoring 17.44 acres of new tidal channel habitat and producing an estimated 65,000 – 320,600 new Chinook smolts annually. Snow goose management and public access will be maintained at the project site and measures to maintain drainage, flood protection and protection from saltwater intrusion for adjacent farmland will be incorporated into the final project design. Climate change and sea level rise predictions will also be incorporated into the final project design.
Building on the Fir Island Farm Snow Goose Reserve Restoration Feasibility Study 2011, a comprehensive scope of work has been developed for the Fir Island Farm Final Design Project which will be implemented in three sequential and inter-related phases, 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3, over a 2 year period beginning January 2013. Funding to implement the Final Design Project has been secured. The Fir Island Farm Final Design Project will complete the surveys, data collections, analysis, modeling and engineering necessary to develop 60%, 90%, final and construction design plans for restoring tidal flooding to approximately 126.6 acres of WDFW’s preferred 130 acre project site by setting back approximately 5,800 lineal feet of existing coastal flood dike. The Final Design Project includes independent technical review, construction permits, an adaptive management and monitoring plan, baseline monitoring data, and landowner agreements. The Final Design Project will be completed in December 2014.