Grants support local salmon recovery efforts

Two local groups have received grants from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and state Salmon Recovery Funding Board for salmon restoration projects in the Puyallup-White and Chambers-Clover watersheds. Grantees received a total of $100,000 in awards for two projects: Protecting and restoring a salmon-bearing stream in an urban park and restoring nearly 600 feet of a degraded stream.

This year’s grant recipients are the Puget Creek Restoration Society and the South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group. The restoration society will protect stream and wetland habitat by controlling foot traffic in and around the salmon-bearing stream. Funds will be used to build a boardwalk, add native plants, construct benches and place educational signs in an urban park in the Puget Creek watershed. The salmon enhancement group will conduct a pilot project in Clover Creek.

Asphalt that currently lines the creek bed will be removed, along with invasive riparian vegetation. Streamside revegetation using native plants and addition of large woody debris will restore the creek to a more natural state.

The grants are administered by the Puyallup-White/Chambers-Clover Community Salmon Fund, one of 26 Community Salmon Fund programs established in watersheds across Washington. The programs are co-funded by NFWF and SRFB and rely on local salmon recovery plans and technical review teams to help prioritize the grants.

“These projects demonstrate a strong network of restoration and community groups in these urban watersheds,” said Krystyna Wolniakowski, director of NFWF’s Pacific Northwest office. “Our program strives to fund projects that bring substantial habitat benefit with local community involvement and stewardship — these projects will accomplish just that.”

The Puyallup-White/Chambers-Clover Community Salmon Fund program was established in 2006 to engage landowners, community groups, tribes, and businesses in salmon recovery on private property. The program awards grants up to $50,000 for habitat protection and restoration projects that are marked by community involvement and watershed health benefits and are consistent with local salmon recovery plans. Grantees matched this year’s grants with $191,800 in local funding for restoration, fish passage and community outreach projects.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is a nonprofit organization established by Congress in 1984 and dedicated to the conservation of fish, wildlife and plants and the habitat on which they depend. The organization creates partnerships between the public and private sectors to strategically invest in conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources. With its partners, the foundation has leveraged more than $305 million in federal funds since its establishment for a total of more than $918 million in on-the-ground conservation.

The Salmon Recovery Funding Board is a Washington State organization that administers state and federal funds to protect and restore salmon habitat throughout Washington. For more information about the program and grants, contact Lorin Reinelt, Pierce County lead entity coordinator at 253-798-3096, or Krystyna Wolniakowski of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation at 503-417-8700.