LITTLE BOSTON (February 6, 2007) – History is helping show the way for salmon recovery efforts in Kitsap County and on the Olympic Peninsula.

A tool created recently by the Point No Point Treaty Council (PNPTC), allows anyone, from government agencies to private citizens, to access details about the history of certain shorelines and estuaries along the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Hood Canal. The tool, in a report format, can be accessed at the PNPTC Web site, www.pnptc.org.


“The information gathered is essential in helping us manage, restore and protect salmon habitats,” said Steve Todd, the habitat biologist for PNPTC who helped gather the data. The PNPTC is a natural resources management agency for the Port Gamble and Jamestown S’Klallam tribes. “The history of the area plays a big part in what we do today to help the salmon.”

The council gathered data on 250 marshes, streams and river mouths – areas where juvenile salmon eat, seek refuge from predators and prepare to migrate to the Pacific Ocean. Protecting and restoring these habitats areas is important to Western Washington treaty tribes because they depend on salmon and other natural resources for cultural and economic sustainability.
Todd and his colleagues were able to determine how each site had changed by comparing United States Coast and Geodetic Survey topographic maps from the mid- to late 1800s to current coastal maps and aerial photos.

While some areas showed few differences, Todd was able to see major changes in many places due to human activity, such as residential, industrial, military and road development. The present-day look of Ediz Hook and Port Angeles Harbor, for example, has been changed drastically by dredging, filling and other activities.

Reviews of maps and photos taken between the 1800s and today showed how the construction of highways and housing developments were contributing factors to the changing shoreline landscape. The construction of Hood Canal Bridge in the 1960s, for example, made it easier to access parts of the Olympic Peninsula. However, because of the popularity of developing homes on sand spits, the salt marches associated with these spits were degraded or destroyed.

County governments, the Hood Canal Coordinating Council, salmon enhancement groups and private citizens already have been using the data compiled by the Treaty Council for planning habitat restoration projects.

The project was funded by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board.

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For more information, contact: Steve Todd, Point No Point Treaty Council habitat biologist at (360) 297-6526 or stodd@pnptc.org; Chris Weller, Point No Point Treaty Council Senior ESA management biologist at (360) 297-6532 or cweller@pnptc.org; or Tiffany Royal, Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission information officer, at (360) 297-6546 or troyal@nwifc.org.