You would think that while we spend millions on habitat restoration and as economic growth slowed during the Great Recession, we’d see gains in salmon habitat. That wasn’t true in terms of the amount of pavement in the Puyallup watershed.

According to the treaty tribes State of Our Watersheds report, impervious surfaces increased, despite a slow economy. From the report:

The Puyallup River basin continued to see an increase in impervious surface (1.2%) from 2006 through 2011. Clarks Creek basin saw an increase in impervious surface in all of its watershed analysis units…

Despite already being one of the most developed watersheds in the Puyallup basin, Clarks Creek saw even higher levels.

Clarks Creek provides critical habitat for Chinook salmon. Within the creek can also be found coho, chum, cutthroat, and steelhead salmon. Over-growing plants, stormwater runoff pollution, fecal coliform and low levels of dissolved oxygen all plague Clarks Creek. The health of this creek and its sustainability are in jeopardy. Clarks Creek basin saw an increase in impervious surface in all of its watershed analysis units from 2006-2011 and remains degraded or severely damaged.