WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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August 29, 2007
Contact: Tim Smith, (360) 902-2223
Paul Cereghino, (360) 902-2603

Shoreline restoration projects to receive
$6.8 million in state funding

OLYMPIA – Fifteen projects, including the largest estuary-restoration effort in Puget Sound to date, are receiving $6.8 million in state funding to preserve and restore natural shorelines and estuaries.

The funds will be disbursed through the Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program (ESRP), which was established by the Legislature in 2006 as part of Gov. Chris Gregoire’s Puget Sound Initiative. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) administers funding for the program.

Funds will be used to match other local, state and federal resources to implement 15 protection and restoration projects from the Canadian border to Olympia. The estimated total value is more than $26 million.

Nine projects funded last year are currently under way throughout Puget Sound, including the removal of dikes to restore 120 acres of marsh at the Skokomish Estuary. A third round of ESRP funding is anticipated for next year.

The Puget Sound Nearshore Partnership assisted in project selection and its executive committee endorsed the final spending plan. The partnership, which is a regional organization working to develop a comprehensive nearshore ecosystem restoration plan for Puget Sound, is co-chaired by WDFW and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It includes representatives from seven federal agencies, tribes, local governments, state agencies and non-governmental organizations.

“Restoring our shorelines and estuaries is key to securing a viable future for salmon and other species,” said Jeff Koenings, WDFW director. “With continued funding for these crucial habitat projects, the area’s local communities and supporting organizations are helping to achieve Gov. Gregoire’s vision of renewing Puget Sound by 2020.”

Funded projects include:

Nisqually Refuge dike setback
Nisqually River Estuary, near Lacey (Thurston County)
Working on Puget Sound’s largest estuary restoration effort to date, Ducks Unlimited and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will restore natural tidal action to 700 acres of intertidal marsh in the Nisqually Estuary by constructing internal setback dikes to enhance existing freshwater wetlands in preparation for removal of perimeter dikes. Construction is scheduled for 2008.
Sponsor: Ducks Unlimited
Contact: Dan Friesz, (360) 885-2011

Lily Point acquisition
Point Roberts (Whatcom County)
The Whatcom Land Trust is planning to acquire 130 acres of undeveloped uplands and tidelands on Boundary Bay, including 4,130 feet of shoreline habitat. The project site includes exceptional feeder bluffs (cliffs) that supply sediment to two beach systems.
Sponsor: Whatcom Land Trust
Contact: Gordon Scott, (360) 650-9470

Pilot Point acquisition
Admiralty Inlet, near Kingston (Kitsap County)
The Trust for Public Land will acquire 34.5 acres of undeveloped shoreline and wetlands located on the north Kitsap Peninsula. The parcel will be managed as part of the Hansville Greenway wildlife corridor and in cooperation with the Washington Water Trails Association. The site contains coastal bluff forest, hillside seeps and backshore wetlands, adjacent to extensive eelgrass beds.
Sponsor: Kitsap County Parks
Contact: Jodi Wroblewski, (360) 307-4222

Red Salmon Slough re-vegetation and design
Nisqually River Estuary, near Lacey (Thurston County)
The Nisqually Indian Tribe will reforest 45 acres of freshwater tidal swamp and floodplain forest, and complete design and permitting for final levee and berm removal on Tribally-owned land adjacent to the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge.
Sponsor: Nisqually Indian Tribe
Contact: Florian Leischner, (360) 438-8687

Dungeness Estuary tidal reconnection
Dungeness River Estuary, near Sequim (Clallam County)
In cooperation with the state, the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe will remove dikes, excavate fill and partially reconstruct tidal channels on 25 acres of state land in the Dungeness Estuary. Work is expected to begin in 2008.
Sponsor: Jamestown S’klallam Tribe.
Contact: Byron Rot, (360) 681-4615

Port Susan Bay dike setback
Stillaguamish River Estuary, near Stanwood (Snohomish County)
The Nature Conservancy will design and obtain permits for a levee setback to restore up to 150 acres of intertidal marsh in the Stillaguamish Estuary.
Sponsor: The Nature Conservancy
Contact: Robert Warren, (360) 419- 3125

Little Quilcene Estuary reconstruction
Little Quilcene River Estuary, Quilcene (Jefferson County)
Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group will remove dikes to restore the Little Quilcene River to a meandering channel as it enters Quilcene Bay. Construction expected to begin in 2008.
Sponsor: Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group
Contact: Neil Werner, (360) 275-0373

Salmon Creek fill removal
Discovery Bay, near Port Hadlock (Jefferson County)
The North Olympic Salmon Coalition will dig up and remove old sawmill wood waste, replace it with clean material and restore 11 acres of intertidal mudflats, removing a persistent source of water pollution. Construction is expected to begin in 2008.
Sponsor: North Olympic Salmon Coalition
Contact: Rebecca Benjamin, (360) 379-8051

Woodard Bay restoration feasibility and design
Henderson Inlet, Olympia (Thurston County)
Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will complete a feasibility study to identify restoration alternatives at the Woodard Bay Reserve on Henderson Inlet. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will participate in the design phase of the project.
Sponsor: Washington Department of Natural Resources
Contact: Michele Zukerberg, (360) 790-9770

Smuggler’s Slough tidal reconnection
Nooksack River Estuary, near Bellingham (Whatcom County)
The Lummi Indian Nation will remove tide gates to restore two-way flow to Smugglers Slough, reconnecting the Nooksack and Lummi rivers and restoring tidal action to 640 acres of tidal marsh. Final property acquisition is under way.
Sponsor: Lummi Indian Nation
Contact: Jim Hansen, (360) 384-2340

Big Quilcene ring dike removal
Big Quilcene River Estuary, Quilcene (Jefferson County)
Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group will complete design and obtain permits for removal of a dike enclosing 3.3 acres of tidal marsh on the Big Quilcene Estuary.
Sponsor: Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group
Contact: Neil Werner, (360) 275-0373

Duckabush Robinson Road levee setback
Duckabush River Estuary, near Brinnon (Jefferson County)
The Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group will complete design and obtain permits for dike removal on 2.6 acres of intertidal marsh in the Duckabush Estuary.
Sponsor: Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group
Contact: Neil Werner, (360) 275-0373

Snyder Cove culvert modification and bulkhead removal
Eld Inlet, near Olympia (Thurston County)
People for Puget Sound will replace an intertidal culvert on Snyder Creek, begin forest stewardship, and complete design and permitting for removal of 450 feet of bulkhead in Eld Inlet adjacent to the Snyder Creek mouth.
Sponsor: People for Puget Sound
Contact: Dan Grosboll, (206) 382-7007

Crescent Harbor tidal reconnection
Oak Harbor (Island County)
Skagit River Systems Cooperative will restore tidal connections to 300 acres of marsh by breaching two dikes, increasing tidal flow at the largest open-barrier salt marsh on Whidbey Island, near the Skagit River delta. The breaches would restore tidal channels to provide fish access and improved tidal connections to the marsh.
Sponsor: Skagit River System Cooperative
Contact: Steve Hinton, (360) 391-1354

Swinomish Channel fill removal
Near LaConner (Skagit County)
The Skagit River Systems Cooperative will remove dredge spoils at several sites in the Swinomish Channel, restoring salt marsh elevations. Swinomish Channel marshes have been buried under dredge spoils created by maintenance on this federal waterway. The channel is a habitat corridor connecting the Skagit River Delta to Padilla Bay, the largest eelgrass meadow in Puget Sound.
Sponsor: Skagit River System Cooperative
Contact: Steve Hinton, (360) 391-1354