12 projects receive state grants to restore Puget Sound shorelines

 Here’s the list with the specifics for Jefferson County. Congratulations to the North Olympic Salmon Coalition

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has begun distributing $8.2 million in funding for 12 local projects designed to protect and restore the natural shorelines around Puget Sound.

Project sponsors include local governments, tribes and non-profit organizations from Hood Canal to the Snohomish River Delta who applied for funding through two competitive grant programs administered by the department.

Funding distributed by WDFW through those programs comes from a combination of state capital funds and federal grants from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Projects funded this year involve restoring beaches for fish habitat and public use, correcting barriers that prevent salmon from reaching key spawning and feeding areas, and restoring tidal functions altered by land-use practices over the past century, said Jay Krienitz, who manages WDFW’s Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program (ESRP).

“Seawalls and other structures line more than a quarter of Puget Sound’s 2,500-mile shoreline,” Krienitz said. “These projects play an important role in restoring the Sound’s natural shorelines, helping to ensure these areas are healthy and productive for fish, wildlife and people.”

Ten projects will be solely funded this year with revenue from the state’s capital construction budget. One project will be funded through EPA grants administered by WDFW’s Marine and Nearshore Grant Program, and another will be funded by both programs.

This year’s funding was directed to qualified projects that will protect and restore Puget Sound shorelines through the removal of bulkheads and protection of bluffs, said Patricia Jatczak, WDFW manager for the EPA grant program.

“Sediment from bluffs is critical in providing new beach material and creating the healthy shorelines necessary for salmon survival,” Jatczak said. “Loss of sediment can lead to reduced breeding habitat for nearshore fish, such as surf smelt, that salmon feed on.”

These grant programs provide many public benefits aside from restoring Puget Sound shorelines and salmon runs, said Krienitz.

“Every $1 million invested in restoration and protection programs, such as ESRP, results in at least 17 jobs and more than $3 million in economic activity,” Krienitz said. “Investments in ESRP projects provide sustainable fish and shellfish populations that support recreational and commercial fishing industries critical to the economies of coastal communities.”

ESRP is a collaboration between WDFW, the Recreation and Conservation Office, and the Puget Sound Partnership.

Here is a summary of the 12 restoration projects funded this year:

Discovery Bay Restoration ($257,862)
Grant funding will be provided to complete the restoration of 37 acres of shoreline and estuary in the Snow/Salmon Creek estuary and Discovery Bay. Restoration actions include removal and modification of an abandoned railroad grade and associated infrastructure, and removal of dredge spoils and sediment. The area is critical habitat for Hood Canal summer chum salmon, which are listed for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Phase: Implementation
Sponsor: North Olympic Salmon Coalition
Contact: Kevin Long (360) 379-8051

Kilisut Harbor Restoration ($2,000,000)
Grant funding will be provided to remove 450 feet of causeway to connect Kilisut Harbor, a coastal inlet between Indian and Marrowstone islands, with Oak Bay. This project will provide migrating juvenile salmon access to a relatively pristine bay with abundant forage fish and intact eelgrass beds. The project is conditionally approved barring a final report of sediment transport and assurance of adequate channel stability.
Phase: Implementation
Sponsor: North Olympic Salmon Coalition
Contact: Kevin Long (360) 379-8051

West Dabob Bay Restoration ($527,000)
Grant funding will be provided to protect and restore a portion of the Dabob Bay Natural Area, one of the highest quality estuarine embayments remaining in Puget Sound. Three adjoining residential parcels along Dabob Bay at the mouth of Anderson Creek will be acquired by Northwest Watershed Institute and the Washington Department of Natural Resources (as match to the ESRP grant). The project involves removing a 400-foot long rock bulkhead along the shoreline, tideland fill, a boat ramp and shoreline structure. In addition, the project includes re­shaping the low bank shoreline and meandering a 1,000 feet of lower Anderson Creek where it joins Dabob Bay.
Phase: Design and implementation
Sponsor: Northwest Watershed Institute
Contact: Peter Bahls (360) 385-6786

Beard’s Cove Restoration ($409,000 – Funded with federal EPA grant dollars)
Grant funding will be provided for the restoration of nearshore and estuarine habitat in Lynch Cove, on the Union River Estuary in Hood Canal. The project will restore up to 1,550 feet of natural shoreline and 1,200 feet of tidal channels, and approximately 7.3 acres of tidal marsh/estuary habitat. The restoration will include the acquisition of approximately 2 acres of Beards Cove Community Organization property that presently contains derelict structures and fill. The restoration, along with a 7-acre conservation easement donation, will reconnect 1.7 miles of contiguous, preserved estuarine habitat.
Phase: Implementation
Sponsor: Great Peninsula Conservancy
Contact: Kate Kuhlman (360) 373-3500

Skokomish Delta Restoration ($1,231,929)
Grant funding will be provided to reconnect forested wetlands to the Skokomish River estuary by removing existing barriers to stream flow and salmon. This project, which will significantly increase the area of wetlands critical for juvenile salmon, includes 17 new stream crossings and restoration of 0.5 miles of existing stream habitat.  The overall goal is to restore quality and diverse habitat to the estuary.
Phase: Implementation
Sponsor: Mason Conservation District
Contact: Gavin Glore (360) 427-9436, ext. 120

Prioritization for Bluffline Structure Protection ($149,621)
Grant funding will be provided to identify actions that will help manage coastal erosion and reduce risk of damage to private and public property. Coastal Geologic Services will compile, augment, and analyze a geodatabase of long-term coastal bluff erosion rates in Puget Sound. This information will be used to characterize risk to properties, identify priority sites to remove shoreline armor, and inform protective strategies involving setback regulations and easement acquisitions.
Phase: Feasibility
Sponsor: Coastal Geologic Services
Contact:  Andrea McClennan (360) 671-6654

Identifying Target Beaches for Restoration and Protection (*$34,685.)
Grant funding will be provided to develop a consistent and strategic regional approach for directing site-level restoration and protection proposals for Puget Sound beaches. This effort will provide new and refined spatial data and tools to natural resource managers and local organizations working to restore and protect Puget Sound beach systems. (*Only partial funding due to current level of remaining ESRP funds.)
Phase: Feasibility
Sponsor: Coastal Geologic Services
Contact:  Andrea McClennan (360) 671-6654


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