Thirteen salmon recovery projects valued at more than $2 million in Thurston and Mason counties have received state and federal funding to proceed.
The projects were among those awarded $30 million by the state Salmon Recovery Funding Board, which relies on a combination of federal and state money to repair salmon habitat, remove barriers to spawning salmon and preserve habitat through land acquisitions.
“Salmon recovery is key to restoring Puget Sound,” Gerry O’Keefe, executive director of the Puget Sound Partnership, said in a statement announcing the awards. “These grants are an important step in righting past damage done to the environment.”
The 2011 funding distributed to 28 organizations and tribes around the state is expected to provide about 300 jobs over the next four years. Here in South Sound, projects include:
• $450,000 to the Capitol Land Trust to purchase and protect 185 acres of wetland and shoreline on upper Goldsborough Creek east of Shelton. Since a dam was removed in the lower reaches of the creek several years ago, coho runs have been on the rise.
• $326,139 to the Skokomish Indian Tribe to help remove barriers to fish passage in the Skokomish River estuary, which has been the scene of a major estuary restoration project.
• $300,000 to the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group to breach a dike in the Union River estuary to restore tidal influence to 32 acres in Belfair.
• $160,714 to the Capitol Land Trust to conserve more than a quarter-mile of Spurgeon Creek shoreline about one mile upstream from where the creek flows into the Deschutes River.
• $136,000 to the Capitol Land Trust to help purchase 29 acres southeast of the Olympia Airport, including more than a quarter-mile of the Deschutes River.
John Dodge: 360-754-5444