The Olympian reports on the first saltwater to inundate parts of the Nisqually estuary for more than a century:

This project, together with two other estuary restoration projects totalling 140 acres and completed by the Nisqually Tribe on the Pierce County side of the river, make the Nisqually home to the largest estuary recovery of its kind on the West Coast, noted David Troutt, natural resource director for the Nisqually Tribe.

“This is hugely important for fish and the overall health of Puget Sound,” he said.

Work on the Nisqually River estuary has boosted the total South Sound estuary habitat by 55 percent. Fisheries scientists predict the Nisqually estuary restoration will double survival of the river’s chinook salmon population, which is one of the stocks that landed on the federal endangered species list as a threatened species in 1999.

“Estuary restoration is the cornerstone of the Nisqually River chinook recovery plan,” Troutt said.

For instance, the estuary provides a place for young salmon to hide, rest and feed as they leave the river and enter marine waters. The estuary also is a feeding ground for adult salmon.

Here is more on the Nisqually Tribe and estuary restoration:
The Nisqually watershed is getting some help from its neighbors
SRF Board grant funding and the Nisqually estuary
A Tribute To Kenny Braget