The Nisqually Estuary Restoration Team received a national honor for its efforts to restore and protect the coastal environment.
The Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge team received the Coastal America Partnership Award, the only award of its kind presented by the administration for on-the-ground environmental restoration partnership projects.
In October 2009, the Brown Farm Dike was removed after a century of blocking tidal flow, allowing the tides to return to more than 760 acres of the refuge. Along with 190 acres of wetlands restored by the Nisqually Indian Tribe, the Nisqually Delta represents the largest estuary restoration project in the Pacific Northwest to assist in the recovery of Puget Sound salmon and wildlife populations.
A ceremony held Dec. 10 featured officials from the U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Nisqually Indian Tribe, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Ducks Unlimited, and the Nisqually River Council.