The state Department of Ecology is contributing part of a National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Program grant to the Lummi Nation’s project to restore fish passage between Bellingham Bay and Lummi Bay.
A $700,500 federal grant will be used to buy 160 acres of wetlands connected to the Nooksack River estuary and to restore tidal wetlands next to Smuggler’s Slough, the Washington state Department of Ecology announced Tuesday, Feb. 2.
The department received the grant and is working with Lummi Nation on the ongoing project to protect the slough north of Bellingham. The tribe will contribute an additional $467,000 to the project.
“It actually expands out the existing Smuggler’s Slough project,” Ecology spokesman Curt Hart said. “You could even call it the second or next phase of that restoration.”
The work for this leg will include building a setback levee in the Kwina Slough area, north of Smuggler’s Slough, as well as re-routing agricultural drainage to allow for flooding in the project area without negatively affecting adjacent farmland, according to Ecology.