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


Heavy early February rain causes significant flooding in local rivers and streams. 
The consistently wet weather to start the year, along with heavy rains during the first week of February caused significant flooding in many places in the watershed, in particular the Cedar River and Issaquah Creek. Average flows in the Cedar River for this time of year are between 1,000 – 1,100 cubic feet (of water) per second (cfs). The severe flooding stage is described as flows greater than 5,000cfs. On February 7, Cedar River flows rose above 7,000cfs causing significant flooding and some road closures, including a four mile stretch of SR 169 near Maple Valley. In places where the floodplain has been reconnected to the river, such as at the Rainbow Bend project site, the river spread out into those areas demonstrating how connected floodplains function to reduce water velocities and offer places for fish and wildlife to find refuge during flood events.

To see aerial drone footage of several portions of the Cedar River during these high water flows sent to us by Karl Belzak, click here.  

See the Riverbend Floodplain Restoration project webpage for more information about how flooding at the Riverbend site on the Cedar River has changed the proposed project.

King County Executive, Dow Constantine, "We have the know-how and no time to waste to save Puget Sound."

Sewage wastewater at the Combined Sewer Overflow treatment plant at Carkeek Park in Seattle in 2011 (Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times, File)

Investing close to $6 billion dollars in water-quality improvements – King County Executive, Dow Constantine, writes about his “Clean Water, Healthy Habitat” initiative in a recent Seattle Times article. With 118 billion gallons of contaminated rainwater slowly poisoning the Green River and Lake Washington, he states that it is up to us to heed science and restore habitat and protect clean water for salmon.

To read the full article, click this link: Read the full article here!

Salmon-friendly shoreline armoring alternatives may get a legislative boost. 

Image of a Living Levee with shoreline plants and flowersShoreline Armoring has a significant impact on crucial nearshore habitat that supports juvenile salmon. Proposed legislation this session (SB 6147), sponsored by Senator Jesse Salomon, D-Shoreline, would require builders replacing existing shoreline armoring to consider using more salmon-friendly alternatives, such as sloping shoreline edges with natural materials like logs and native plants. An article in Crosscut discusses the legislation and the proposed shoreline armoring alternatives.

King County's 30-Year Forest Plan requests input from local residents. 30-Year Forest Plan Graphic

As part of King County’s 2015 Strategic Climate Action Plan (SCAP), the County is seeking community and partner input. The purpose of the 30-Year Forest Plan is to develop tree canopies, forest cover and improve forest health throughout the WRIA 8 watershed and King County as a whole.

For more details on the program and how you can help, you can read the 30-Year plan or email: or their website:King County 30-year forest plan

Podcast interview with Spawning Grounds film creators.
Spawning Grounds Promotion Poster
Tim Smith, producer of a regular podcast in the City of Issaquah called “Uniquely Issaquah” recently interviewed filmmaker/producer Nils Cowan and David St. John, environmental affairs officer for King County about kokanee salmon, current kokanee recovery efforts, and the recently released Spawning Grounds film.  The podcast highlights kokanee recovery work and the story the film tells. 

To listen to the podcast, see the links below, including a video and audio-only versions.

Link to video version: Taping of the podcast

Link to audio-only version: Audio only of the podcast
To see upcoming viewing dates for "Spawning Grounds" go to

Salmon in the news:Students from surrounding Edmond schools working on salmon conservation efforts.
Members of the Students Saving Salmon club from Meadowdale and Edmonds-Woodway high schools were busy last week with efforts aimed at eventually populating local creeks with salmon.

The students carefully placed more than 4,000 chum salmon eggs in specially designed hatch boxes, which were later installed in Shell and Lund’s Gulch Creeks. The hatch boxes will remain in the creeks until March, when the chum fry will emerge into the creeks before beginning their journey to sea.

The students did the same in mid-December with 5,000 coho salmon eggs, which were placed in Shell, Willow and Lunds Gulch Creeks.

Click below for the full article, courtesy of My Edmonds News
Click here to read the full article

State of the Salmon report is out by the Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office

After 20 years and nearly $1 billion spent on Washington state salmon recovery programs, most salmon are still in decline, the recently released State of the Salmon report announced.

With so many recovery efforts currently in place, salmon are still struggling to survive due to their habitat being destroyed at a faster pace than what can be restored. However, summer chum on the Hood Canal and fall chinook in the Snake River are doing better and near their recovery goals, writes Lynda Mapes, Seattle Time environment reporter. Steve Martin, executive coordinator of the governor’s Salmon Recovery Office said, “recovery work – and the money to pay for it – is not keeping pace with the need.” 

Click here for the full article.

$22 million in grants available for streamflow restoration projects!
The Washington Department of Ecology is accepting applications as part of its streamflow restoration competitive grant program.

Across the state, up to $22 million in grants is now available for projects that will protect rivers and streams while providing water for rural homes. With priority given to water storage projects, fish habitat improvements, water rights acquisitions, or improvements in water management and infrastructure. Applications are due by 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 25th, 2020.
For more details and helpful links: 


2019 State of the Sound Report issues a Call to Action for Puget Sound Recovery
On December 2, the Puget Sound Partnership released the 2019 State of the Sound report, which indicates Puget Sound is still in trouble but emphasizes that recovery is still possible. The report provides the latest information on the condition of the ecosystem, and is intended to help Puget Sound restoration partners and decision makers better understand: (1) how well the recovery effort is going, (2) ecosystem health and progress toward Puget Sound recovery goals, and (3) the role each partner can play in achieving Puget Sound recovery.

Funding Opportunities

Workshops and Conferences

Salmon in the News

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