More than $7 million awarded to tribes for salmon recovery

Late lNT Mashel construction 09 (8)-2ast week, the state Salmon Recovery Funding Board approved $7 million in grants to treaty tribes in Western Washington for salmon recovery projects.

The Kitsap Sun highlights one such project sponsored by the Skokomish Tribe to restore part of the Skokomish River estuary:

Joseph Pavel, natural resources director for the Skokomish Tribe, said work on Nalley Island this summer will go a long way to restoring the natural functions at the mouth of the Skokomish River. Restoration is designed to improve habitat for outgoing juvenile salmon, increase beaches suitable for shellfish and reduce flooding in the lower river.

“We will be working to restore the natural historic channel configuration, a braided network of channels,” Pavel said. “This will act as a nursery for important fishery resources — anadromous fish but also marine fish and shellfish.”

The multiyear project has been proposed for a total of $3.2 million, including state and federal funds. The latest project will remove 90,000 cubic yards of fill and obliterate more than two miles of dikes, 1.3 miles of roads and 2.7 miles of ditches, all of which have slowed down the river where it enters Hood Canal.

“We are pushing hard and working with our partners to get this out to construction,” Pavel said.

The state salmon recovery funding process is a competitive grant system. Projects are first developed on the watershed level according to priorities set by a salmon recovery plan. So, the projects not only reflect the best use of salmon recovery money from the salmon’s point of view, but also include the wishes of the local community. Some of these projects, such as the Nisqually Tribe’s Mashel River restoration, were actually funded earlier in the year and have been completed already.

Here is a complete list of the funded projects:

Strait of Juan De Fuca IMW Restoration Treatments, Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, $443,000

Fobes Reach Instream Project, Lummi Nation, $688,870

Skookum Reach Project, Lummi Nation, $232,879

Mashel River Restoration, Nisqually Indian Tribe, $1,573165,

South Fork Nooksack at Sygitowicz ELJ Design, Nooksack Indian Tribe, $59,000

NF Nooksack Farmhouse Reach Feasibility and Design, Nooksack Indian Tribe, $150,000

NF Nooksack Wildcat Reach Feasibility and Design
, Nooksack Indian Tribe, $100,000

South Fork Nooksack at Hardscrabble ELJ Design, Nooksack Indian Tribe, $57,600

Lower Quinault Major Tributaries Knotweed Control, Quinault Indian Nation, $287,808

Barnaby Reach Feasibility, Skagit River System Cooperative $242,260

Turners Bay Road Removal Project, Skagit River System Cooperative, $671,073

Sauk River Riparian Restoration, Skagit River System Cooperative, $162,350

Skokomish Estuary Island Restoration, Skokomish Indian Tribe, $1,700,000

Klein Farm Acquisition and Restoration, Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians, $900,000

Blue Slough Side Channel Reconnection Phase 3, Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians, $200,000

Gold Basin Landslide Feasibility and Design, Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians, $125,000

Canyon Creek Road Treatments, Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians, $522,366

Qwuloolt Estuary Restoration, Tulalip Tribes, $500,000

Here is some more coverage of the grant process:

The Olympian: Salmon Board Funds Projects

Peninsula Daily News: Who gets how much in $6 million salmon recovery funding?