State doles out salmon recovery grants

Sequim Gazette staff

The Washington Salmon Recovery Funding Board this week announced Clallam County organizations would receive $2,447,641 in grants “to help bring salmon back from the brink of extinction.”


“These grants do two things: They provide needed money for local organizations to help repair damaged rivers and streams and protect the most pristine areas,” said Don “Bud” Hover, chair of the state funding board. “They also create jobs. They will put people to work improving the environment and restoring something that is important to Washington’s economy: salmon.”


A Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife study in 2006 pegged the economic impacts of commercial and recreational fishing in Washington as supporting an estimated 16,374 jobs and $540 million in personal income. This new round of grants is expected to provide more than 300 jobs during the next four years.


The grants include:


• $142,000 for the Clallam Conservation District, to be used to improve the connection between Meadowbrook Creek and the Dungeness River. Other partners on the project include the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and the Dungeness Farms LLC, which is making a $40,000 contribution to the project to provide the required grant matching funds. Dungeness Farms previously granted a conservation easement in the area.


• $26,444 will go to the Coastal Watershed Institute to develop a detailed parcel inventory and plan for the protection of the west Twin Rivers shoreline and adjacent riparian areas. The institute will hold work sessions with those interested in the project to develop a plan for needed shoreline restoration.


• $519,937 to the James-town S’Klallam Tribe. The project, led by Randy Johnson, a restoration planner for the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, will replace undersized culverts, which are a significant fish passage impediment. Washington Harbor, a 118-acre estuary, has estuarine marsh, eelgrass meadows and tide flats. The tribe will contribute more than $1 million from a state grant.


• $635,919 to the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe to build 11 logjams in the Elwha River to increase habitat for salmon. The logjams will slow the river, creating different types of habitat for salmon. The tribe is contributing $112,388 from a federal grant and donations of labor and materials. The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe also received a $361,901 grant to hire crews through 2016 to remove non-native, invasive weeds, move large logs and tree root wads from the shoreline to denuded sites and double planting efforts following removal of the two Elwha River dams. Removal of the dams will expose nearly 800 acres of land devoid of vegetation.


• $415,640 to the North Olympic Salmon Coalition to breach a dike and construct vehicle crossings over Salt Creek, restoring an estuary and opening up 15 acres of salt marsh to salmon. The coalition will contribute $73,348 from a federal grant via the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe.


• $86,500 to the Pacific Coast Salmon Coalition to replace a culvert on the north fork of the Calaway River. The coalition will contribute $111,693. The coalition also picked up another $169,300 to replace the Coal Creek culvert.


• $90,000 to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to operate the Elwha River Salmon and Steelhead weir, which is used during the removal of the Elwha River dam to capture fish for stock preservation and to evaluate the abundance and diversity of adult salmon and steelhead in the Elwha River.


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