Pierce County is the biggest winner in land of recovery grants

Dec 16, 2011

Getting diverse governments to cooperate is more art than science.

And there’s a project in Pierce County that is being honored with something called a “surf board award.”

It’s for meeting the difficult challenge of protecting endangered Chinook salmon, which were listed on the endangered species act more than a decade ago.

Doug Osterman is a coordinator for the Green, DuWamish and central Puget Sound watershed.

He says that means he juggles the priorities of 17 local governments …while aiming most of all to bring back endangered Chinook Salmon.

"We’ve been working across jurisdictional boundaries to address the habitat loss over the years and to identify the most important areas to restore or rehabilitate or protect – to help get the salmon population back in enough numbers to take it off the endangered species act,” he says

And he says that’s why they’ve received high priority grant money to do the restoration work. The grant is a mix of federal and state funds.

It’s about 3 million dollars in total--the biggest single grant among 28 counties receiving salmon money.

74 total projects funded in Puget Sound and Hood Canal

Snohomish, Clallum and King Counties also had stand-out projects…including one for  signs along Ohop Creek, east of I-5 in the Nisqually River Delta, where people can see the work in progress…with tiny tunnels and redesigned culverts that help bring back salmon habitat, while still keeping roads safe and intact. That one got an award called WOW - because it's meant to make people stop and look, says

She says statewide, the grants are funding projects designed to achieve the following goals:

  • 923 acres of estuary/salt marsh to be protected and/or restored
  • 5,300 feet shoreline armoring/hard structures to be removed
  • 1,300 feet of riverine/freshwater riprap/armoring to be removed
  • 706 acres of floodplain to be protected/reconnected/restored

Other counties receiving lots of money