From left, Matt Heins, Dungeness Duck Club manager, talks with Marnie Tyler of the Salmon Recovery Funding Board Review Panel and Kevin Long, North Olympic Salmon Coalition Project Manager, at a proposed restoration site at the Dungeness Duck Club. (North Olympic Lead Entity for Salmon)

From left, Matt Heins, Dungeness Duck Club manager, talks with Marnie Tyler of the Salmon Recovery Funding Board Review Panel and Kevin Long, North Olympic Salmon Coalition Project Manager, at a proposed restoration site at the Dungeness Duck Club. (North Olympic Lead Entity for Salmon)

Peninsula gets more than $1.2 million in salmon recovery funds

OLYMPIA — Nine salmon recovery projects on the North Olympic Peninsula have received a total of more than $1.2 million in grants, part of $18 million funding package announced by the state Recreation and Conservation Office.

Clallam County organizations received $762,420 from the Washington Salmon Recovery Funding Board for shoreline protection, levee removal and habitat restoration.

Jefferson County nonprofits won $475,220 in grants for controlling invasive weeds, protecting forest habitat, designing a fish passage and removing creosote piling and a collapsed bridge, officials said.

About 75 percent of the projects funded statewide will benefit chinook salmon, which make up a large part of the southern resident orca whale diet, according to the Monday announcement.

“This funding helps protect one of our most beloved legacies,” Gov. Jay Inslee said in a news release.

“Together we’re taking a step forward for salmon, and in turn dwindling southern resident orca whales, while also looking back to ensure we’re preserving historic tribal cultural traditions and upholding promises made more than a century ago.”

Grant awards are chosen by local “lead entities,” salmon-focused groups that include tribes, local governments, nonprofits and citizens.

Lead entities vet projects based on their salmon recovery plans and prioritize which projects to submit to the Salmon Recovery Funding Board for funding.

The salmon recovery grants are administered by the state Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO).

“With steady checks and balances throughout the process, this bottom-up approach is the backbone of our efforts to ensure a thriving future not only for salmon, but for orcas, other wildlife and ultimately — us,” RCO Director Kaleen Cottingham said.

“It consistently produces projects with widespread support that are rooted in our local communities.”

Here is a breakdown of the North Olympic Peninsula grant recipients and their funded projects:

Clallam County

• $447,147: North Olympic Land Trust — Morse Creek shoreline protection.

The land trust will purchase 97.3 acres of shoreline habitat and remove an old hydroelectric operation and spillway.

Morse Creek is used by threatened chinook and steelhead, coho salmon and bull trout, according to the project summary.

• $199,962: North Olympic Salmon Coalition — Dungeness Farms levee removal.

The coalition will use the grant to design a project to restore 22 acres of the Dungeness River estuary.

About 500 feet of the northern end of the levee on the right bank will be removed, reconnecting the river to its estuarine marsh.

• $115,311: Trout Unlimited — Sitkum River habitat restoration.

Trout Unlimited will use the grant to abandon U.S. Forest Service Road 2952 to improve water quality, fish habitat and return the area to a more natural state.

Native vegetation will be planted along the shoreline, proving shade and cooler water for fish.

Sitkum River is a tributary of the Calawah River.

Jefferson County

• $164,860: 10,000 Years Institute — Controlling invasive species along the Hoh River.

The institute will prevent and control invasive species along 38 miles of the Hoh River and seven tributaries by planting locally harvested grass and forbs seeds.

• $77,490: 10,000 Years Institute — Controlling invasive species along Goodman Creek.

The institute will map and control invasive reed canarygrass in and around 14 miles of salmon-supporting Goodman Creek and its tributaries.

• $126,515 Jefferson Land Trust — Protecting Snow Creek forest.

The land trust will purchase 8.7 acres to connect more than 100 acres of forest habitat along Snow Creek and protect the land from development, proponents say.

The watershed is used by threatened chum salmon and coho.

• $43,180: Pacific Coast Salmon Coalition — Removing Boulder Creek creosote piling.

Four trestles made of creosote piling and road fill left in Boulder Creek from a previous crossing will be removed.

Creosote-treated wood releases highly toxic chemicals into the watershed and the fill confines the creek, according to a project summary.

• $39,175: Pacific Coast Salmon Coalition — Restoring Goodman Creek.

The coalition will remove material from a collapsed bridge in the west fork of Goodman Creek in west Jefferson County.

The collapsed bridge has limited sediment movement and caused fine sediment to accumulate upstream.

• $24,000 Pacific Coast Salmon Coalition — Morganroth Springs fish passage.

The coalition and the U.S. Forest Service will develop preliminary designs to address a failing wooden embankment and fish way at the outlet of the Morganroth Springs wetland.

According to the RCO, every $1 million spent on watershed restoration results in between 15.7 and 23.8 jobs and up to $2.5 million in total economic activity.

“We are committed to restoring salmon populations back to levels that support communities and support people,” said David Troutt, chair of the Salmon Recovery Funding Board.

“This funding enables local communities to restore the places salmon live, while also initiating a cascade of other benefits, from less flooding to better water quality, more water in rivers for salmon and other fish, and a boost to our statewide economy.”

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or atrollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

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