Almost $300K approved for salmon conservation work

Grants to fund projects on Hoh, Dosewallips rivers

PORT TOWNSEND — The Board of Jefferson County Commissioners approved two similar Recreation and Conservation Office fund grants with a combined total of almost $300,000 for projects focused on salmon conservation and resiliency.

The grants were unanimously approved during the commissioners’ Monday afternoon session, with $195,415 going toward a Hoh River Resilience Plan Phase 1 and $94,825 going to the Dosewallips River Powerlines Project.

Both projects will be overseen by Natural Systems Design (NSD), according to commission documents.

The Hoh River plan agreement funds NSD’s creation of a Hoh River Restoration and Management Master Plan.

The resiliency plan would contain conceptual designs to improve channel migration zone function, support a self-sustaining floodplain and in-channel habitat for salmon and steelhead in the Middle Hoh River (river miles 16 to 31), and to address locally identified resiliency objectives, according to commission documents.

The Hoh River work began in late May, and the grant funds the work from that time through Sept. 30, 2021.

The Dosewallips agreement funds NSD conducting a geomorphic assessment, developing a hydraulic model, writing a resiliency plan, attending meetings and developing conceptual designs to improve channel migration zone function, support a self-sustaining floodplain and in-channel habitat for salmon and steelhead in the Powerlines Reach of the Dosewallips River.

The Dosewallips project also will receive matched funds of a grant of $14,703 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, commission documents said.

Powerlines Reach is south of the Lazy C of Brinnon, just before the channel narrows before it opens into the Hood Canal.

The Dosewallips project specifically aims to create designs that would restore habitat for Hood Canal summer chum and chinook salmon, said Tami Pokorny, county natural resources program coordinator.

Pokorny has been reaching out to business owners and community members in Brinnon to discuss the future of the Dosewallips Powerlines Reach project.

“It’s hoped that we can take a look at the Powerlines Reach and make the best possible use of that habitat that we’ve acquired but is yet unstable due to a lot of sediments still coming down the watershed,” Pokorny said.

The Dosewallips grant funds work on the project through June 30, 2021, documents said.

The full agreements can be read here.

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Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at 360-385-2335, ext. 5.

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