The Nature Conservancy has received a $1 million grant from the Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board for restoration at its Port Susan Bay Preserve, in the Stillaguamish River estuary south of Stanwood.
The Nature Conservancy will remove nearly 1.4 miles of existing sea dike and build nearly 1 mile of new setback dike to protect neighboring farmlands. In addition, the Conservancy is partnering with the Stillaguamish Flood Control District to build an emergency floodgate that will provide flood relief for farmland on Florence Island, between Hat Slough and the Old Stilly Channel.
When complete, this project will restore full river and tidal processes to 150 acres of former tidal marsh. This project is part of a larger effort to restore ecological functions to the Stillaguamish estuary. It will increase the quantity and quality of estuarine habitats for use by juvenile salmon, shorebirds and other animals. With the expected system-wide benefits of the project, the Conservancy engaged a broad-based Technical Advisory Committee to inform and guide project design, including the Flood District, neighbors, biologists, permitting agencies, and tribes.
Funding for this grant includes $750,000 from the Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration Fund and $250,000 in other state funds
The Conservancy has also received a $1 million grant of Estuary Restoration Act funds from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The project is in final design and construction is expected to take place in the summer of 2012.
The Salmon Recovery Funding Board announced the grant earlier this week as one of 39 projects receiving a total of $12 million in funding. The grants range from $35,000 to more than $1.3 million and cover a variety of activities, including fixing barriers to fish migration, restoring estuaries and floodplains, rerouting stream channels and protecting shorelines.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.