Putting the wet in wetlands

The (Everett) Herald has a story today about a major restoration project near Ebey Slough:

A vast expanse of land where salmon once spawned will be restored to wetlands within two years, according to a plan by the Tulalip Tribes.

The Tulalip Tribes Qwuloolt Estuary Restoration project, valued at more than $13 million, will restore about 2 percent of what’s been lost, said (Maria Calvi, a restoration ecologist for the tribes)

This week, tribal crews began furrowing out a path for the creeks based on historic records of where they once flowed.

“We’re creating a template on the site,” Calvi said.

The water will come by 2010, when crews expect to finish removing four tide gates and about 3,000 feet of levee. The tribes are also paying for a new levee, one tribal leaders say will protect Brashler Industrial Park, just north of the site, and the city of Marysville’s sewage treatment lagoon, which sits to the east.

At high tide, Calvi expects, the water will rush into the 400-acre area and fill Jones and Allen creeks to historic levels. Over time, vegetation will return, and salmon will spawn in an abundance not seen since Washington’s early statehood.