Eleven treaty tribes and one tribal organization will use almost $9 million in grants to complete 17 salmon recovery projects in western Washington. The grants were part of the recently announced results of the competitive salmon recovery funding round (details here).

Treaty tribes work with their neighbors to develop this projects, oftentimes acting as the watershed lead for salmon recovery projects.

Not only will these projects result in more salmon returning for everyone, but they contribute to what is being called the “restoration economy.” Essentially, money invested in salmon recovery projects have an impact on their communities economically.

From National Geographic:

A University of Oregon study from 2010 found that each $1 million invested in forest or watershed restoration generates between 14.7 and 23.8 jobs, and between $2.1 and $2.6 million dollars for the local economy. Earlier this year, we at Ecotrust applied the U of O’s economic multipliers for restoration work to a catalog of Oregon projects from 2001 to 2010 and found the projects generated an estimated 6,483 jobs and nearly a billion dollars in economic output around the state.

Restoration projects go well beyond typical “environmental” work — traditionally good jobs for fisheries scientists and academics. Projects create jobs for construction workers, landscapers, heavy equipment operators, and technical experts such as engineers. Restoration projects also create demand for local businesses, such as plant nurseries, quarries, and others.

Here is a rundown of the projects the treaty tribes will complete in the coming years:

Nisqually Tribe and partners
Nisqually Chinook Recovery Monitoring
Grant Awarded: $41,500
The Nisqually River Foundation, in partnership with the Nisqually Indian Tribe, will use this grant to fund continued evaluation of the response of hatchery and natural juvenile Chinook Salmon to the restoration of the Nisqually Delta, the largest tidal marsh restoration in Puget Sound. The Tribe has begun implementing a Chinook Salmon stock management plan, which integrates habitat, harvest, and hatchery actions to develop a locally adapted, natural population of Chinook salmon. Successful implementation of the plan depends on robust hatchery and natural stock monitoring, a vital component to ongoing monitoring and adaptive management efforts. Data collection efforts will focus on juvenile Chinook Salmon abundance and distribution throughout the lower Nisqually River, estuary, and south Puget Sound near-shore. Chinook Salmon are listed as threatened with extinction under the federal Endangered Species Act. The Nisqually Indian Tribe will contribute $7,500 in donations of equipment and labor. This grant is from the salmon recovery grant program.

Squaxin Island Tribe
Grant Awarded: $233,643
West Oakland Bay Restoration and Conservation
The Squaxin Island Tribe will use this grant to begin work on multiple projects to conserve and restore the Goldsborough Creek estuary in Oakland Bay, in southern Puget Sound. The larger project has four components: 1) Install up to 14 logjams at the creek mouth to capture sediment; 2) remove a quarter-mile dike and add bed material to build up creek banks to allow trees and plants to survive; 3) produce a final design for the removal of a bulkhead on Port of Shelton property on the north shore of the harbor so the shoreline can be reconfigured to a more natural slope; and 4) buy 14 acres of habitat, including 2 acres of wetland, 4 acres of tideland, and more than 8 acres of shoreline, on Eagle Point in Shelton harbor. This project will benefit steelhead, which are listed as threatened with extinction under the federal Endangered Species Act, and Chinook, Coho, and Chum salmon and Cutthroat Trout. The Squaxin Island Tribe will contribute $286,000 from another grant. This grant is from the Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration fund.

The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe
Grant Awarded: $1,157,700
Dungeness River Floodplain Restoration: Robinson Phase
The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe will use this grant to restore more than 29 acres of floodplain habitat along the Dungeness River, near Sequim. During the past century, more than 800 acres of the Dungeness River’s floodplain was disconnected from the river through the construction of levees, roads, and other infrastructure. Interested people have worked for decades to reconnect a fraction of the lost floodplain. Opportunities for floodplain restoration are rare and usually expensive. However, this project is expected to cost less than one-third the costs of similar floodplain restoration projects and can be completed in less than 2 years. The Tribe will retire at least six development rights, move four houses from harm’s way, remove infrastructure from the floodplain, and permanently conserve floodplain habitat and salmon habitat-forming processes. These actions will benefit Chinook Salmon, which are listed as threatened with extinction under the federal Endangered Species Act, and Bull Trout; Chum, Coho, and Pink salmon; and steelhead. In addition, the project will increase public access and recreation opportunities just minutes from Sequim. Recovery of sustainable, harvestable runs of salmon on the Dungeness is a cultural and economic priority of the Tribe and this project is an important step towards that goal. The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe will contribute $204,300 from a Floodplains by Design grant from the Washington Department of Ecology.

Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe
Grant Awarded: $1,530,000
Dungeness River Railroad Reach Floodplain Restoration
The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe has used this grant to remove a 585-foot-long railroad trestle and its fill from the Dungeness River floodplain, near Sequim. The work, which is almost complete, will restore salmon habitat-forming processes on about 15 acres of floodplain, numerous side channels, and one-third mile of the Dungeness River. This project was approved in May because the trestle was damaged by flooding and the bridge subsequently closed. The trestle supports the Olympic Discovery Trail. The trestle was built on narrowly spaced creosoted pilings, which, along with the fill, have constrained the river channel to 150-foot-wide opening at the bridge for more than 60 years. Upstream of the trestle, the river meanders significantly, but narrow channel at the trestle has caused channel instability and damaged salmon habitat. The river is used by Puget Sound Chinook Salmon, steelhead, eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca summer Chum Salmon, and Bull Trout, all of which are listed as threatened with extinction under the federal Endangered Species Act, along with fall Chum, Coho, and Pink salmon. The Tribe has replaced the trestle with a 750-foot-long bridge. The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe will contribute $270,000 from a Floodplains by Design grant from the Washington Department of Ecology and $606,100 in other funding from the Tribe, the Peninsula Trails Coalition, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Climate Adaptation program.

The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe
Grant Awarded: $635,939
Pysht River Floodplain Restoration Phase 3
The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, in partnership with the Makah Tribe, Merrill and Ring, the North Olympia Land Trust, and two landowners will use this grant to install 32 logjams and 350 feet of floodplain fencing, and plant the banks of the Pysht River, as part of a long-term effort to improve salmon habitat in the river and its major tributaries. Because of historic logging and removal of wood from streams, the entire watershed doesn’t have enough logjams in its streams and the age and composition of shoreline forests are not adequate to support habitat-forming processes. Since 1994, the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe has completed a series of restoration projects focusing on adding tree root wads and large logs to channels and replanting shorelines. Logjams create places for fish to rest, feed, and hide from predators. They also slow the river, which reduces erosion and allows small rocks to settle to the riverbed, creating areas for salmon to spawn. Finally, logjams change the flow of the river, creating riffles and pools, which give salmon more varied habitat. Planting trees and bushes along a shoreline helps shade the water, cooling it for fish. The plants also drop branches and leaves into the water, which provide food for the insects salmon eat. Finally, the roots of the plants help keep soil from entering the water, where it can smother fish spawning gravel. The Pysht River is used by Chinook, Coho, and Chum salmon and steelhead and Cutthroat Trout. The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and the Makah Tribe, along with others, will contribute $276,500.

Puyallup Tribe and partners
Grant Awarded: $1,363,438
South Prairie Creek Phase 1
The South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group and its partners will use this grant to implement the first construction phase of a stream and floodplain restoration project along a half-mile of South Prairie Creek, east of Orting. The group will place tree root wads and logs in the creek; install woody structures in the floodplain; demolish a bridge on the creek and replace it with one over Silver Springs, off Spring Site Road; demolish remnant dairy buildings; and plant 18 acres. Placing logs in rivers creates places for fish to rest, feed, and hide from predators. The logs also slow the river, which reduces erosion and allows small rocks to settle to the riverbed, creating areas for salmon to spawn. Finally, they change the flow of the river, creating riffles and pools, which give salmon more varied habitat. This project will increase the types of habitat in the creek, create places off-channel for fish to rest, restore the creek banks, and reconnect the creek to its floodplain. The work will increase the overall capacity of this stream to support Pacific salmon, specifically Puget Sound Chinook Salmon and steelhead, both of which are listed as threatened with extinction under the federal Endangered Species Act, and Coho, Chum, and Pink salmon, and Coastal Cutthroat Trout. The South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group, along with Pierce County, the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, and the Pierce Conservation District, will contribute $248,000.

Upper Skagit Indian Tribe Grant
Awarded: $228,250
Goodell Creek Restoration Feasibility
The Upper Skagit Indian Tribe, in partnership with the National Park Service, Seattle City Light, and Washington State Department of Transportation, will use this grant to complete a feasibility study for restoration of the alluvial fan of Goodell Creek, a tributary to the upper Skagit River near Newhalem. Goodell Creek is used by Chinook Salmon, steelhead, and Bull Trout, all of which are listed as threatened with extinction under the federal Endangered Species Act, and by Coho and Pink salmon and Cutthroat Trout. Nearly all of the Goodell watershed is well protected on land administered by the National Park Service. The exception to high quality functioning habitat is the alluvial fan, which has a confined and straightened stream channel that is disconnected from the surrounding floodplain and shoreline. This has been worsened by a landslide upstream that deposited sediment in this reach, which likely will increase flooding and road closures. Initial concepts include removing a levee along Goodell Creek, excavating a channel, and building an additional bridge, reconnecting more than 60 acres of floodplain and shoreline habitat. The Upper Skagit Indian Tribe will contribute $43,850 in a federal grant and donations of labor.

Skagit River System Cooperative
Grant Awarded: $97,350
Skagit Habitat Status and Trends Monitoring Implementation
The Skagit River System Cooperative will use this grant to measure habitat for Chinook Salmon in the Skagit River. Chinook Salmon are listed as threatened with extinction under the federal Endangered Species Act. Specifically, the cooperative will use aerial photography to identify shallow edge habitats where young salmon and trout grow. This will be the third survey, giving the ability to establish long-term trends in habitat quantity and quality throughout the Skagit River basin. This will help answer the question of whether habitat, collectively, is increasing or decreasing after a decade of habitat restoration and rural development. The survey will look at Chinook habitat in the Skagit River, its floodplain, and 14 tributaries.

Tulalip Tribes
Grant Awarded: $500,000
Qwuloolt Estuary Restoration and Construction The Tulalip Tribes used this grant to breach a levee along Ebey Slough and build a setback levee to protect land in the floodplain. This funding is part of the $7.8 million project to restore the Qwuloolt estuary and reconnect 350 acres of isolated floodplain. The project also restored two stream systems and provides unrestricted fish access to 16 miles of spawning and rearing habitat.

Nooksack Indian Tribe
Grant Awarded: $1,009,330
South Fork Nooksack River Phase 1 Restoration
The Nooksack Indian Tribe will use this grant to build 20 logjams in a half-mile of the South Fork Nooksack River, in Whatcom County, as part of the first of three phases of habitat restoration planned in the broader Nesset reach. The South Fork Nooksack River is used by Chinook Salmon, Bull Trout, and steelhead, all of which are listed as threatened with extinction under the federal Endangered Species Act. The river suffers from a lack of different types of habitat needed by salmon and water that is too warm. Logjams create places for fish to rest, feed, and hide from predators. They also slow the river, which reduces erosion and allows small rocks to settle to the riverbed, creating areas for salmon to spawn. Finally, logjams change the flow of the river, creating riffles and pools, which give salmon more varied habitat and cooler water. The South Fork also is used by Coho, Chum, Sockeye, and Pink salmon and Cutthroat Trout. The Whatcom Land Trust and Whatcom County own the upper portion of the reach, presenting a unique opportunity to restore habitat and reconnect floodplains in a relatively unconfined reach in the lower South Fork. The Nooksack Indian Tribe will contribute $178,131 from another grant.

Lummi Nation
Grant Awarded: $867,114
Middle Fork Porter Creek Reach Phase 1
The Lummi Nation will use this grant to build 11 logjams in the Middle Fork Nooksack River, in the town of Welcome, in Whatcom County. The Middle Fork suffers from water that is too warm, unstable channels, and not enough habitat. Logjams create places for fish to rest, feed, and hide from predators. They also slow the river, which reduces erosion and allows small rocks to settle to the riverbed, creating areas for salmon to spawn. Finally, logjams change the flow of the river, creating riffles and pools, which give salmon more varied habitat and cooler water. The work also will increase the river’s connection with its floodplain and side channels, creating 1.23 miles of off-channel rearing habitat. The Middle Fork is used by Chinook Salmon, Bull Trout, and steelhead, all of which are listed as threatened with extinction under the federal Endangered Species Act, and by Coho, Chum, and Pink salmon. The Lummi Nation will contribute $155,657 in a federal grant.

Lummi Nation
Grant Awarded: $285,159
South Fork Skookum Edfro Phase 1 Restoration
The Lummi Nation will use this grant to build four logjams, augment three others, and build other log structures in the South Fork Nooksack River. In addition, the Tribe will remove 600 feet of revetment. Logjams create places for fish to rest, feed, and hide from predators. They also slow the river, which reduces erosion and allows small rocks to settle to the riverbed, creating areas for salmon to spawn. Finally, logjams change the flow of the river, creating riffles and pools, which give salmon more varied habitat and cooler water. This section of the river is used by Chinook Salmon, Bull Trout, and steelhead, all of which are listed as threatened with extinction under the federal Endangered Species Act. The Lummi Nation will contribute $113,928 in a federal grant.

Nooksack Indian Tribe
Grant Awarded: $585,681
North Fork Farmhouse Phase 2b
The Nooksack Indian Tribe will use this grant to build 16 logjams in the North Fork Nooksack River, near Kendall, in Whatcom County. The North Fork suffers from high channel instability and low habitat diversity. Logjams create places for fish to rest, feed, and hide from predators. They also slow the river, which reduces erosion and allows small rocks to settle to the riverbed, creating areas for salmon to spawn. Logjams also help increase length of side channels and promote forested island formation by protecting the banks of the islands, stabilizing the channel, and allowing shoreline regrowth. Finally, logjams change the flow of the river, creating riffles and pools, which give salmon the varied habitat they need. This work is the second of six phases of restoration planned in the broader Farmhouse reach. The North Fork Nooksack River is used by Chinook Salmon, Bull Trout, and steelhead, all of which are listed as threatened with extinction under the federal Endangered Species Act, and by Coho, Chum, Sockeye, and Pink salmon, and by Cutthroat Trout. The land along the river has been logged and the channel has few constraints, making the Farmhouse reach an important place to restore habitat-forming processes associated with logjams. The reach also is just upstream of the Kendall hatchery, site of the North Fork/Middle Fork Nooksack early Chinook Salmon rebuilding program. The Nooksack Indian Tribe will contribute $140,442 in another grant.

Makah Tribe
Grant Awarded: $122,902
Big River and Umbrella Creek Riparian Restoration
The Makah Tribe will use this grant to remove and treat non-native plants along 12 miles of Big River and 6 miles of Umbrella Creek, to improve salmon habitat. Big River and Umbrella Creek flow into Lake Ozette in northwest Clallam County. This work will allow native plant communities to re-inhabit stream banks that currently are infested with non-native weeds. The Tribe will conduct an extensive survey of Big River and Umbrella Creek to document and map invasive weeds. Target species include knotweeds and reed canarygrass. Following treatment, the Tribe will plant native trees, shrubs, and grass species on 2 acres of Umbrella Creek shoreline. The river and creek are used by endangered Lake Ozette Sockeye Salmon, as well as Coho and Chinook salmon, steelhead, and Cutthroat Trout. The Makah Tribe will contribute $93,812 in cash and donations of labor.

Quinault Indian Nation
Grant Awarded: $141,671
Lower Quinault River Invasive Plant Control Phase 4
The Quinault Indian Nation’s Division of Natural Resources will use this grant to continue to survey and treat invasive knotweed on 1,908 acres in the lower Quinault River floodplain for 1 year. Continued treatment and control of invasive species provides the opportunity to reestablish native plants and trees in the floodplain. Trees and bushes along a shoreline help shade the water, cooling it for fish. The plants also drop branches and leaves into the water, which provide food for the insects salmon eat. Finally, the roots of the plants help keep soil from entering the water, where it can smother fish spawning gravel. The Quinault River is used by Chinook, Chum, Coho, and Sockeye salmon, steelhead, and Cutthroat Trout. The Quinault Indian Nation will contribute $25,001 in staff labor and a federal grant. This grant is from the salmon recovery grant program. For more information and photographs of this project, visit RCO’s online Project Search. (15-1103)

Quinault Indian Nation
Grant Awarded: $43,992
F-5 Road Fish Barrier Removal Project
The Quinault Indian Nation’s Division of Natural Resources will use this grant to remove a 5- foot-wide pipe that carries a Moclips River tributary under a Quinault Indian Reservation forest road with a 15-foot-wide bridge. The pipe, which is on a tributary to the North Fork Moclips River on the Quinault Indian Reservation, blocks young salmon during high flow. Removing the barrier would open about a quarter-mile of rearing habitat for Coho Salmon and Cutthroat Trout. The Quinault Indian Nation will contribute $7,764. This grant is from the salmon recovery grant program. For more information and photographs of this project, visit RCO’s online Project Search. (15-1102)

Quinault Indian Nation
Grant Awarded: $72,999
Prairie Creek Rehabilitation – In-stream Large Woody Materials Design The Quinault Indian Nation’s Division of Natural Resources will use this grant to develop preliminary designs for a project to restore up to 8 miles of Prairie Creek and three tributaries – Milbourn Creek, Dry Creek, and an unnamed stream, all on the Quinault Indian Reservation in Grays Harbor County. The project designs will guide placement of large trees with root wads and logs in the creek and tributaries. The root wads and logs create places for fish to rest, feed, and hide from predators. They also slow the river, which reduces erosion and allows small rocks to settle to the riverbed, creating areas for salmon to spawn. Finally, they change the flow of the river, creating riffles and pools, which give salmon more varied habitat. The work also will improve floodplain connectivity. This work is anticipated to lead to more diverse and productive habitat for both spawning and rearing salmon species. The streams are used by Coho, Chinook, and Chum salmon, steelhead, and Cutthroat Trout. The Quinault Indian Nation will contribute $12,883. This grant is from the salmon recovery grant program.