New investments save dynamic coastal wetland habitat – Washington DOE

And more good news. State and local partners secure $5 million in federal conservation grants.

The Department of Ecology is delighted to announce we have secured seven National Coastal Wetlands Conservation grants worth more than $5 million. The 2020 federal grants will help our local partners restore and enhance nearly 500 acres of coastal wetlands and 17,500 feet of marine shoreline in Jefferson, Kitsap, Snohomish, Thurston, and Whatcom counties.

Discovery Bay Acquisitions ($713,268)  —working in partnership with Jefferson Land Trust to acquire and conserve 9 acres of critical wetlands and nearshore habitat in Discovery Bay in Jefferson County, including nearly 2,173 feet of Puget Sound shoreline. The project will conserve degraded and filled estuary and nearshore habitat and preserve a rare intact pocket estuary that provides high-functioning salt marsh habitat in the Discovery Bay area.

Tarboo Creek Wetlands Acquisition and Restoration ($508,000) — in close coordination with the Northwest Watershed Institute we will help permanently protect and restore 14.5 acres of wetlands on three adjoining parcels along Tarboo Creek in Jefferson County that drain directly to Tarboo-Dabob Bay and Puget Sound.

Misery Point Habitat Acquisition ($1 million) — this collaborative project with the Great Peninsula Conservancy will preserve 20.7 acres and approximately 3,500 feet of Hood Canal and barrier lagoon shoreline in Kitsap County. The property contains a 1,600-foot sand spit that shelters a 3-acre tidal lagoon, important refuge habitat for juvenile salmon and waterfowl.

Video: Blue Carbon- A Story from the Snohomish Estuary

What is the Green New Deal in action? Here’s a 5 minute overview of the work and reasons behind restoring the Snohomish Estuary, which could be considered an element of the New Green deal today.. An extremely clear story of why we need to restore salt water estuaries both for carbon sequestration, protection against storm surge, and much more. A fun watch! Especially share it with pre-teens and teens!


Policy pivot: A new emphasis on restoration to protect Puget Sound – UW

Interesting research by the UW. It’s nothing that we didn’t already instinctively know, but it’s always good to be able to point to research when facing legislators asking about methodology and costs.

But protecting Puget Sound is not just about recovering certain species of fish. As the region continues to grow, it is also about protecting the livelihoods and diverse cultures of the people who live there, and balancing their needs with the needs of the natural world.

The second half of their study looks at an example of a restoration project that involved various social groups and produced multiple benefits — a potential model for future restoration in Puget Sound. A similar approach has been used for the Nisqually Delta restoration project along Interstate 5 northeast of Olympia, as well as for the Ebey Slough restoration adjacent to I-5 near Marysville.


Twelve Washington projects receive state grants to restore shorelines – Maple Valley Reporter

It is great to see the work being done around the Sound to restore some of the 150 years of destruction to our shorelines. These funds are going to local jobs, restoring beaches, streams and more, as well as helping to do what best available current science says will help to restore fish, shellfish and other sea life along the nearshore. All these projects were ground up based designs, with local non profits and governments helping put the grants together. If you are a fisherman or a beach harvester you should be happy with this work. Thanks to WDFW for continuing to find the funds to help do this. If you live in one of these areas, and are affiliated with the project, be sure to get still and video photography of the projects in action.

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…. [Projects include:] Jefferson Co. Discovery Bay Restoration ($257,862), Kilisut Harbor Restoration ($2,000,000), West Dabob Bay Restoration ($527,000); King Co. Maury Island Restoration ($1,586,712 – Federal EPA grant funds and ESRP state capital funding provided); Mason Co. Beard’s Cove Restoration ($409,000 – Funded with federal EPA grant dollars), Skokomish Delta Restoration ($1,231,929); Kitsap Co. Teekalet and Port Gamble Restoration ($1,500,000); Snohomish Co. Railroad Grade Beach Nourishment ($99,010); Thurston Co. Bulkhead Removal Planning ($86,684); Thurston/Pierce Cos. Restoring Sediment Supply to Sustain Delta Marsh ($350,000); Puget Sound-Wide: Prioritization for Bluffline Structure Protection ($149,621), Identifying Target Beaches for Restoration and Protection ($34,685 partial funding)…. Funding distributed by WDFW through those programs comes from a combination of state capital funds and federal grants from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). (Maple Valley Reporter)

With dams down, restored Elwha River mouth ‘a treasure – PDN

The Elwha recovery continues.

No one, not even among those studying the ecology of the Elwha River mouth, expected the degree of change seen there after the dams came down, according to a woman who has researched it for years. An area that once was little more than large cobbles is now a vast tract of quiet, sandy beach speckled with hundreds of seabirds and brushed by ocean waves. It contains pools constantly dimpled by the jumping of fish. Sometimes, looking at the acres of new beach — and the new life it now supports — she nearly cries, said Anne Shaffer, a marine biologist and the executive director of the Coastal Watershed Institute of Port Angeles. Arwyn Rice and Leah Leach report. (Peninsula Daily News)

See also:  Who owns new Elwha River land? Discussions begin about ownership, responsibility Arwyn Rice reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

New mitigation program approved for Hood Canal – Kitsap Sun

A mitigation program expected to bring millions of federal dollars to restoration projects in Hood Canal was approved Friday, following more than a year of intense discussions. The mitigation program is one of the final hurdles before the Navy obtains approval to proceed with construction of a $715-million explosives handling wharf at Bangor. The program, to be administered by the Hood Canal Coordinating Council, allows a developer to pay cash instead of constructing restoration projects to compensate for environmental damage. Navy officials say they will use the program for the new wharf and probably future projects as well. Chris Dunagan reports. New mitigation program approved for Hood Canal

Navy (re)turning lake to estuary on Bangor Navy Returning Lake to Estuary on Bangor Base – Kitsap Sun

The deeper story that isn’t clear from the headline is that the Navy is destroying a marsh and restoring an estuary. Why? To put in a fence and a parking lot. All this without environmental review, or protections. The fence and parking lot are costing us, the taxpayers, almost $52 Million dollars. We are grateful for the crumbs of $100 million in total for *mitigation* money from the Navy to the Hood Canal Coordinating Council for the *total* mitigation of the new sub base work. This is just a fence a parking lot…does that sound out of whack to you?

Could you or I, or even the State of Washington for that matter destroy a marsh like that in this day and age? No. This is what we mean when we talk about the issues of militarization of the Sound and Hood Canal. We get no say in how our money is being spent on issues that compromise our local environment. We are grateful that someone in the Navy has even thought to trade off recreation of the estuary.

The larger issue of whether this new sub base expansion is even needed is never debated. When we question Norm Dicks long held support of the military, and the Navy in particular, this is the kind of thing that he, Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell should, as our representatives, be seriously questioning. To be clear, we support our military, but with a budget in WA DC that will be forcing a $50 Billion cut to the military, (as reported on NPR just this AM) because of the inability of both political parties to come to the table and get things done, whether in this day of a crashed economy we even need a larger military base for our subs is not on the table for discussion by the population that supports them with their taxes. The reality is that over 40% of our taxes directly go to the military (perhaps much more if the nature of the ‘black budgets’ of the our top secret security wings were made public). There is a lot that could be done for the taxpayers with even 10% of that returned to jobs programs with environmental overview. Not security fences and parking lots that are of a highly questionable need.

Navy (re)turning lake to estuary on Bangor
Kitsap Sun
By Ed Friedrich The Navy is restoring a Hood Canal estuary that was blocked by farmers even before the creation of the Bangor submarine base. Cattail Lake was created when a road dammed Cattail creek. (MEEGAN M. REID/ KITSAP SUN) BANGOR —

BANGOR — The Navy is restoring an estuary that hasn’t held saltwater in more than 60 years. The $2.2 million project compensates for environmental damage from the building of a huge, new security fence.

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Restored wetlands no match for real thing

Samuel P. Schuchat, executive director of the Coastal Conservancy,
left, walks through the Ballona Wetlands during a conservancy tour of
the natural reserve in Marina del Rey. New studies show that wetlands
do not quickly return to their original vitality once destroyed or
altered. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times / January 19, 2012)
By Bettina Boxall
February 1, 2012, 1:23 p.m.
How easy is it to recreate nature? When it comes to wetlands, the
answer seems to be "not very."
A new paper examining data from more than 600 restored or man-made
wetlands found that in key ways, they don’t measure up to the real

Read the whole story at

Link to the PLOS Biology study:

Restoration of Ailing Wetlands

Banking On New Wetlands When Old Ones Vanish

While not directly related to the Peninsula, this article is about a process that does affect us, our ability, or lack of ability, to restore wetlands. Part and parcel to “no net loss” in the CAO and SMP processes.

Make up your own mind about ‘wetlands banking’ after reading Ashley Ahearn’ EarthFix piece on “Banking On New Wetlands When Old Ones Vanish”

“The Washington Department of Ecology estimates that half the state’s wetlands have been lost since European settlers first arrived and has declared mitigation banking a potential solution to this trend. But recreating wetlands in the form of mitigation banks is tricky.”

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