April 2020 Newsletter
Lake Washington/Cedar/Sammamish Watershed
Water Resource Inventory Area (WRIA) 8

February flooding improves habitat along Cedar River

Large scale flooding on the Cedar River in early February caused substantial and dramatic changes to the river channel and floodplain areas in many sections of the river. Changes at two King County habitat restoration project sites illustrate the function of floodplains and the importance of restoring them to improve habitat and reduce flood impacts. At the Riverbend Floodplain Restoration project site at the Cavanaugh Pond Natural Area, the river avulsed through the left bank levee, shifting the main channel through the lower portion of Cavanaugh Pond. While this event significantly impacts design of the Riverbend project, the avulsion is expected to have produced significant habitat benefits and enable additional restoration opportunities than were previously available at the site. In places where the floodplain has been reconnected to the river, such as the Rainbow Bend project site that was completed in 2013, the river spread out into those areas demonstrating how connected floodplains function to reduce water velocities, recruit and capture wood, and offer places for fish and wildlife to find refuge during flood events.

King County scientists and habitat restoration project managers will monitor the changes at these project sites to document how the river and its floodplains respond to large flood events. This information will inform future project design. Restoring river floodplains offers multiple benefits, including habitat restoration, reduced flood risk to people and property, reduced operations and maintenance costs associated with repairing flood protection infrastructure, expanded capacity for flood water storage and conveyance, resiliency to changing future conditions resulting from extreme weather events, and public access to natural areas/open space.

February 10, 2020 — Main river channel flowing through site of levee breach at the Riverbend project site, fully connecting the bottom end of Cavanaugh Pond to the river.


February 20, 2020 – Rainbow Bend Floodplain Restoration project site, showing side channel on the right with large wood deposits and main channel to the left. The full 40 acre restored floodplain captured flood water during the peak of the early February flood event.

Joint non-profit event brings volunteers out to restore the Sammamish River

(left)Councilmember Claudia Balducci and a Whale Scout volunteer proudly standing next to their newly planted "Bruce the Spruce" tree. (right) Woodinville Mayor Elaine Cook and a fellow Woodinville Rotary member with their newly planted tree.

On February 22, over 350 native trees and shrubs were planted by volunteers along the Sammamish River in Woodinville at an event organized jointly by Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group, King County Parks Volunteer Program, and nonprofit Whale Scout. Whale scout donated 200 plants for the event, as part of their ongoing effort to get more native plants established along the river.

King County Council Chair, Claudia Balducci, and Woodinville Mayor, Elaine Cook, helped kick off the event by saying a few inspiring words to more than 60 volunteers, which included Tom Douglas Restaurants, Microsoft, DSI International, the Woodinville Rotary Club, and the Sammamish Community YMCA Teen Leadership Board. Many of the volunteers over the years have adopted the site as part of their commitment to support sustainable salmon populations.

2020 Earth Day Northwest, Next5

Earth Day celebrates turning 50!

In 1970, it all started with just one voice, that became a conversation. A conversation that is now a world-wide celebration. In honor of Earth Day, Earth Day Northwest is coordinating a calendar of events and encouraging people to share ideas and to show support for a cleaner, stronger earth by joining #voicescarry50 on Instagram, twitter and Facebook.


Long Live The Kings, Ready, Set, Migrate! Survive the Sound
Long Live the Kings' 2020 Survive the Sound Campaign
Looking to pass some time, entertain your kids, or learn more about salmon? Most of us are stuck at home, so we want to bring our activities to YOU. View our collection of games, activities, and resources at SurvivetheSound.org/classroom.

Everyone can join in on the fun! Gather your students, friends, family, and coworkers for an epic migration through Puget Sound. Sign up, pick a fish, and form a team at SurvivetheSound.org.

Together, we can raise awareness for salmon and steelhead in the Pacific Northwest and have some fun while we're at it!

Come attend these habitat steward webinars to learn how to restore local wildlife habitats!

Become a Habitat Steward, ruby-crowned kinglet bird by Fyn Kynd, flickr creative commons

The National Wildlife Federation — in partnership with the King County WaterWorks Grant Program — is offering a specialized, multi-week webinar workshop to teach you how to help others create and restore wildlife habitat in backyards, schoolyards, and other private and public areas. Webinar sessions will take place April 28th, May 5th and May 12th from 6:00 - 9:00 pm via a free video conference platform. On May 10th, participating Habitat Stewards will have the option of receiving hands-on experience installing a schoolyard habitat garden in Bellevue.

Expert speakers from the community will present on topics such as: gardening for wildlife, identifying native plants, managing noxious weeds, Pacific Northwest fungi, and much more!

The cost of the training is $30 to cover program materials. Note: scholarships are available! No one will be turned down due to lack of funds. Register online for the training, email us or call, (206) 577-7816.

Scoop Poop Stickers from Puget Sound Starts Here!

There is no poop fairy-free stickers promote campaign to Scoop It, Bag It, and Trash It. Puget Sound Starts Here. King County

Our pets can be carriers without showing signs of infection and can transmit disease to other pets and animals. Pet waste left in forests, hiking trails, and parks are dangerous for the wildlife in those areas because it does not contain the natural nutrients found in those ecosystems. The nutrients in pet waste also cause blue-green algae blooms in our waterbodies that raise water temperatures and take up oxygen needed for fish and other aquatic life to thrive. Each of these factors are reasons why the conversation about bagging and trashing our pet's poop is ongoing.

Get one of these FREE stickers when you visit Scooppoop.org. These stickers can be placed on trash bins, water bottles, or laptops to help promote throwing away pet waste in a safe way.

For more information on easy ways to help your environment, visit pugetsoundstartshere.org.

Informative webinar on "What is shore friendly?"

Shore Friendly

Have you heard about Shore Friendly but not sure what it was all about? Here's a great opportunity to learn more in a webinar produced for the Living Shorelines Community of Practice.

While you have your cup of coffee you can watch the YouTube webinar and read supporting materials.

State managers review and discuss the 2021 salmon fishing seasons

Shore Friendly

Dave Logan/for Peninsula Daily News Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby winner Brandon Leeper, left, with his 15.7-pound catch and Kathy Watrous, Gardiner Salmon Derby Association President during the 2019 salmon derby. The derby will have to canceled or moved to another time of year in 2021 most likely. Courtesy of Peninsula Daily News

The Pacific Fishery Management Council's (PFMC) meeting, which was held via webinar due to concerns related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, announced a series of closures based on continued low returns of some key Chinook salmon stocks. Kelly Susewind, Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Director said, "These seasons were determined with the goal of meeting conservation objectives while offering opportunities whenever possible, but we had some tough decisions to make this year."

Proposed closures include a swath of winter chinook fisheries from the mouth of the Lyre River to Port Ludlow and into the Hood Canal. The areas include east Juan De Fuca Strait (Marine Area 6, including Port Angeles, Sequim and Discovery Bay), the San Juan Islands (Marine Area 7), Deception Pass and Port Gardner (areas 8-1 and 8-2), Admiralty Inlet (Marine Area 9, includes Port Townsend), Tacoma-Vashon Island (Marine Area 11) and Hood Canal (Marine Area 12), with some exceptions for chinook non-retention in Hood Canal in November and December. Summer seasons in Deception Pass and Port Gardner are also closed to protect coho. (Read the full article from the Peninsula Daily News)

Habitat restoration in the news

Shore Friendly

PacifiCorp's Iron Gate Dam on the Klamath River in Northern California. Courtesy of Jeremy P. Jacobs/E&E News

Due to reduced financial viability from low power generation and the prospect of a challenging relicensing process, hydropower giant PacificCorp announced it would begin the process to remove four of its hydropower dams along the Klamath River in Northern California. This is the largest dam removal project in the country and marks a historic turn for conservation efforts and habitat restoration along the river.

"This represents another milestone in our decades long effort to remove dams and restore our fishery," said Frankie Myers, vice chairman of the Yurok Tribe, in a statement. "Working with PacifiCorp, we have found a way to remove dams, restore our river, and dramatically improve water quality." Read the full article.

Chinook salmon (also known as king salmon) are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. In WRIA 8, citizens, scientists, businesses, environmental and community organizations, and local, state and federal governments are cooperating on protection and restoration projects and have developed a science-based plan to conserve salmon today and for future generations. Funding for the salmon conservation plan is provided by 28 local governments in the watershed. For more information visit our website at www.govlink.org/watersheds/8/.

If you would like to submit an item for inclusion in the next WRIA 8 e-newsletter, please email Jason.Mulvihill-Kuntz@kingcounty.gov.