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

It's Salmon SEEson Again!

Fall is coming and salmon will be returning to streams and rivers throughout King County to spawn. The 14th annual Salmon SEEson program will run from late August through November, promoting self-guided salmon viewing sites as well as virtual tour opportunities. If you decide to visit a self-guided site near you, please remember to recreate responsibly: plan ahead, practice physical distancing, wear a mask, choose a site near you, leave no trace, and contribute to an inclusive experience for all. Check out the Salmon SEEson website for more information on self-guided and virtual viewing opportunities!

Targeting Orca Recovery, Whale Scout Interns Restore Salmon Habitat

Interns set up to learn about benthic macroinvertebrates in Bear Creek

Whale Scout's mission is to help save endangered orcas in part through on-the-ground conservation experiences in local watersheds. As part of their important work, their internship program offered students, Ana McDonald, Amelie Sharples, Netania Rivera, and Nicole Reiber the opportunity to develop multicultural online educational materials and practice safe, social-distancing protocols to distribute Orca Conservation kits and help maintain restoration sites.

They pulled invasive weeds and developed a riparian restoration project on Bear Creek, which included water quality monitoring. They also worked along the Sammamish River in Woodinville with Mid-Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group and King County Parks.

2020 Earth Day Northwest, Next5

Save the Date — Climate Summit 2020 on October 7, 2020

Climate Summit 2020 is free, open to the public, and will be an online experience. The event will bring together a national audience of climate, government and insurance professionals to understand and explore how climate change affects our communities, regulatory efforts, and businesses. The goal is to focus on what we can do to mitigate and adapt.

Climate Summit 2020 will focus on the following themes:

Find the agenda, guest presenters and register

Salmon in the news... Students Saving Salmon club receives grant-funded equipment for stream quality monitoring

EWHS students (from left) Cindy Tran, Emma Gibson, Alyssa Barnett, Matthew Jack and Ainsley Powell. (Photo courtesy Joe Scordino)

The Edmonds-Woodway High School (EWHS) Students Saving Salmon club has a new electronic instrument to monitor stream water quality, thanks to a donation from the EWHS Parent Staff Organization and a grant from the Hubbard Foundation.

Club advisor, Joe Scordino, said the students will make use of the new electronic meter in their monthly stream quality monitoring — but now with face masks, gloves, social distancing and limited numbers of students per site under current COVID guidelines.

This September will mark five years of monthly student monitoring of creeks in the City of Edmonds and the Edmonds Marsh. In October, students plan to survey Shell Creek for salmon returns (some of which may be coho salmon students released as fry in Yost Park three years ago), Scordino said.

Read the full article

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

Wood debris pieces

Excess wood available at Mud Mountain Dam

Attention habitat restoration project sponsors! The Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has an abundance of salvaged wood at Mud Mountain Dam after February flooding. If you're interested, please contact Nathan Malmborg at the Corps to arrange a site visit and coordinate pick-up.

Salish Sea Currents web magazine: Orcas without borders

Southern resident killer whales. Photo by Candice Emmons/NOAA Fisheries (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

A recent article in Salish Sea Currents notes that with just 73 Southern Resident orcas remaining, the importance on creating a viable international solution is critical. Much more radical efforts are necessary between the United States and Canada to create policies and conditions to recover Chinook salmon and protect salmon habitat as the primary food source for the orca.

The two countries' orca recovery efforts are similar in spirit and intent but haven't been perfectly aligned. For example, salmon habitat restoration measures have thus far been stronger in the United States, while sanctuaries and exclusion zones to keep people out of the whales' favorite spots have been more common in Canada.

Read the full story

'The Blob' revisited: Marine heat waves and the Salish Sea

Red-orange streaks of an extensive algal bloom (Noctiluca) in Puget Sound seen during the summer of 2015. Photo: Eyes Over Puget Sound/Ecology.

In 2013, an area of abnormally warm ocean water, known as 'the blob' developed in the Pacific Ocean and affected ocean conditions for a few years, greatly impacting the marine ecosystem including salmon returns. A recent Salish Sea Currents article revisits this phenomenon and what it means for the future of the Salish Sea and ecosystem conservation efforts.

Read the full article

Kokanee on the road to Long Live the Kings Hatchery

Perry Falcone, King County Kokanee Recovery Manager, worked in partnership with Long Live the Kings (LLTK) and WDFW to transport 250 kokanee from the Issaquah Hatchery to the LLTK Glenwood Springs hatchery earlier this month. The Orcas Island hatchery is also home to 250 kokanee transported in 2019 via LightHawk planes to their facility. Due to coronavirus restrictions, flying was not an option, so Perry and King County Environmental Scientists, Jim Bower and Dan Lantz made the trip via ferry! The kokanee arrived safely, and the 2019 cohort are thriving at the hatchery.

This effort supports recovery of the near extinct Lake Sammamish kokanee population, which is at risk from predation, poor water quality and lack of habitat. This program along with other important kokanee conservation work has been funded by a new partnership between King County; the cities of Bellevue, Issaquah, Redmond and Sammamish; and the Snoqualmie Tribe.

See the DNRP news release and Wednesday, 8/12 Twitter announcement

Dual Dam Removal Restores the Elwha Delta

In 2012, the Elwha and Glines Canyon Dams on the Elwha River were removed, completing the largest dam removal in the country at the time. Since then, the Elwha River has begun to restore itself, recapturing its floodplain and delta flowing into Puget Sound.

City of Renton Councilmember, Valerie O'Halloran recently visited the restored Elwha River delta and documented current conditions in a short video. It's exciting to see natural river processes return after more than 100 years!

See more information on the full dam removal and river restoration project.

Schrier and Larsen Introduce Bill to Assist Salmon and Steelhead Passage

Congresswoman Kim Schrier, M.D. (WA-08) and Representative Rick Larsen (WA-02) introduced a bill to ensure the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gives equal consideration to projects benefiting salmon and steelhead under a federal law to restore aquatic ecosystems for fish and wildlife.

Examples of such projects critical to fish habitat or passage in the new authority include:

Section 206 projects provide authority for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to carry out aquatic ecosystem restoration and protection projects. It must be demonstrated that the proposed project will increase aquatic ecosystem habitat units and is cost-effective.

Official press release

King County and Partners Plant One Million Trees Ahead of Goal!

Executive Constantine and partners celebrate the 1 Million Trees initiative at King County's White Center Heights Park where they planted the ceremonial first tree in 2016.

In 2015, King County adopted its Strategic Climate Action, which tasked King County with planting a half million trees with partners planting the remaining half by the end of 2020.

With over 100 partners — cities, Tribes, nonprofits, youth organizations, schools, and businesses — 1,122,535 trees have been planted in urban, suburban, and rural areas as of July 30, 11 months ahead of schedule!

Later this month, Executive Constantine will send the King County Council his proposal for the 2020 Strategic Climate Action Plan, which will include a 3 Million Trees initiative, to maintain the accelerated pace for tree planting, protect forests and natural areas before they are lost forever, and prepare native forests for the impacts of climate change.

Read the full article

Lake Level Monitoring Project at Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish

Lake Observations by Citizen Scientists and Satellites (LOCSS) is an international organization to better understand how the volume of water in lakes is changing over time. They partner globally to provide vital data on whether lake volumes are affected most by precipitation, water table height, evaporation or some other factors. They combine these measurements to aid in further understanding our local ecosystems.

Current list of 23 Washington lakes being studied

Funding and Job Announcements

Grant Funding Opportunity
On 8/11, The Department of Ecology's Water Quality Program is pleased to announce publication of the State Fiscal Year 2022 Funding Guidelines. The Funding Guidelines apply to the Water Quality Combined Funding Program (WQC) for the State Fiscal Year 2022 (SFY22) Funding Cycle. If you have questions, please see Appendix A in the Funding Guidelines for a list of Ecology Grant and Loan Contacts.

The SFY22 Funding Cycle opened on August 11. We'll be holding Applicant Workshops via webinar from 9:00am-Noon on August 25 for wastewater projects, August 26 for nonpoint and onsite sewage systems projects, and August 27 for stormwater projects. In addition, the WQC Funding Cycles webpage will be updated soon with information on the SFY22 Funding Cycle, and the WQC General Resources webpage will be updated soon with information on the Applicant Workshops.

Funding Available for Puget Sound Water Projects — Due September 18th
Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment is pleased to announce the opportunity to apply to the Fall 2020 Puget Sound Stewardship & Mitigation Fund.

The Fund's goal is to mitigate past pollution runoff by supporting community-based efforts to protect or improve the water quality of Puget Sound. Since inception in 2012, over $5.7 million in grants have been awarded for projects in Puget Sound related to conservation, restoration, citizen science, environmental justice, shoreline access, and environmental education.

Innovative Funding for Conservation in Puget Sound Webinar Recording Available
For those of you that missed joining the webinar that discussed innovations in conservation finance across Puget Sound, hosted by The Emerald Alliance, you can view the webinar recording by using the password: ntRW2%x5.

View the three speaker presentation slides.

Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group is hiring!
Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group (Mid Sound) is looking for self-starters interested in making a difference for salmon and communities in the Central Puget Sound region of King and Kitsap Counties. Join our successful non-profit as we are growing the organization to expand our impact on restoring salmon habitat, restoring water quality and flow in important salmon streams, strengthening and making new partnerships, and engaging the community in our work.

There are three job openings with Mid Sound: Executive Director, Habitat Restoration Project Manager, and Green Stormwater Infrastructure Project Manager. See Mid Sound's website for the full announcements for each position.

Habitat Restoration Project Manager and Green Stormwater Infrastructure Project Manager applications received by August 31st will be given priority review although both positions are open until filled.

Priority will be given to applications for the Executive Director position if received by September 1st.

Email Questions regarding these job postings.

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

If you would like to submit an item for inclusion in the next WRIA 8 e-newsletter, please email