OLYMPIA – Scientists with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will fly a drone over sections of McNeil Island in South Puget Sound during the week of July 20 to collect information for habitat restoration work.
“We are using a drone to collect imagery and videos for us to better understand how sediments move along the beach,” said Hannah Faulkner, WDFW scientist. “Using a drone gives us an opportunity to conduct monitoring safely, while also efficiently providing a view of rivers that would otherwise be impossible.”
Faulkner said the drone will be flown between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. for approximately 30- to 60-minute periods within a four-day window on McNeil Island at the Milewa Estuary, Floyds Cove, Bodley Creek, and the Butterworth Reservoir.
WDFW manages more than 70% of the land at McNeil Island for conservation as part of the South Puget Sound Wildlife Area. The department will lead a restoration project at McNeil Island later this year to restore estuary habitat and remove an undersized culvert to improve fish passage.
The department conducts habitat restoration work on the island in partnership with the Washington Department of Natural Resources, Washington Department of Corrections, and Washington Department of Social and Health Services.
WDFW is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish, wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting, and other recreation opportunities.