Times Spent Outdoors: Priceless!

12 Projects Receive State Grants To Restore Puget Sound Shorelines

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has begun distributing $8.2 million in funding for 12 local projects designed to protect and restore the natural shorelines around Puget Sound.

Project sponsors include local governments, tribes and non-profit organizations from Hood Canal to the Snohomish River Delta who applied for funding through two competitive grant programs administered by the department.

Funding distributed by WDFW through those programs comes from a combination of state capital funds and federal grants from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Projects funded this year involve restoring beaches for fish habitat and public use, correcting barriers that prevent salmon from reaching key spawning and feeding areas, and restoring tidal functions altered by land-use practices over the past century, said Jay Krienitz, who manages WDFW’s Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program (ESRP).

“Seawalls and other structures line more than a quarter of Puget Sound’s 2,500-mile shoreline,” Krienitz said. “These projects play an important role in restoring the Sound’s natural shorelines, helping to ensure these areas are healthy and productive for fish, wildlife and people.”

Ten projects will be solely funded this year with revenue from the state’s capital construction budget. One project will be funded through EPA grants administered by WDFW’s Marine and Nearshore Grant Program, and another will be funded by both programs.

This year’s funding was directed to qualified projects that will protect and restore Puget Sound shorelines through the removal of bulkheads and protection of bluffs, said Patricia Jatczak, WDFW manager for the EPA grant program.

“Sediment from bluffs is critical in providing new beach material and creating the healthy shorelines necessary for salmon survival,” Jatczak said. “Loss of sediment can lead to reduced breeding habitat for nearshore fish, such as surf smelt, that salmon feed on.”

These grant programs provide many public benefits aside from restoring Puget Sound shorelines and salmon runs, said Krienitz.

“Every $1 million invested in restoration and protection programs, such as ESRP, results in at least 17 jobs and more than $3 million in economic activity,” Krienitz said. “Investments in ESRP projects provide sustainable fish and shellfish populations that support recreational and commercial fishing industries critical to the economies of coastal communities.”

ESRP is a collaboration between WDFW, the Recreation and Conservation Office, and the Puget Sound Partnership.

Here is a summary of the 12 restoration projects funded this year:


Discovery Bay Restoration ($257,862)

Grant funding will be provided to complete the restoration of 37 acres of shoreline and estuary in the Snow/Salmon Creek estuary and Discovery Bay. Restoration actions include removal and modification of an abandoned railroad grade and associated infrastructure, and removal of dredge spoils and sediment. The area is critical habitat for Hood Canal summer chum salmon, which are listed for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Phase: Implementation

Sponsor: North Olympic Salmon Coalition

Contact: Kevin Long (360) 379-8051

Kilisut Harbor Restoration ($2,000,000)

Grant funding will be provided to remove 450 feet of causeway to connect Kilisut Harbor, a coastal inlet between Indian and Marrowstone islands, with Oak Bay. This project will provide migrating juvenile salmon access to a relatively pristine bay with abundant forage fish and intact eelgrass beds. The project is conditionally approved barring a final report of sediment transport and assurance of adequate channel stability.

Phase: Implementation

Sponsor: North Olympic Salmon Coalition

Contact: Kevin Long (360) 379-8051

West Dabob Bay Restoration ($527,000)

Grant funding will be provided to protect and restore a portion of the Dabob Bay Natural Area, one of the highest quality estuarine embayments remaining in Puget Sound. Three adjoining residential parcels along Dabob Bay at the mouth of Anderson Creek will be acquired by Northwest Watershed Institute and the Washington Department of Natural Resources (as match to the ESRP grant). The project involves removing a 400-foot long rock bulkhead along the shoreline, tideland fill, a boat ramp and shoreline structure. In addition, the project includes re­shaping the low bank shoreline and meandering a 1,000 feet of lower Anderson Creek where it joins Dabob Bay.

Phase: Design and implementation

Sponsor: Northwest Watershed Institute

Contact: Peter Bahls (360) 385-6786


Maury Island Restoration ($1,586,712 – Federal EPA grant funds and ESRP state capital funding provided)

Grant funding will be provided to acquire 14.4 acres and 1,000 feet of marine shoreline bordering the Maury Island Aquatic Reserve in south central Puget Sound. The project will remove over 700 feet of shoreline armoring to reconnect bluffs that have historically provided important beach sediment to the nearshore. This project will benefit eelgrass, marine nearshore and forage fish spawning habitat, and chinook salmon. These properties also will be open to the public for recreation.

Phase: Acquisition and implementation

Sponsor: King County Water and Land Resources

Contact: Greg Rabourn (206) 477-4805


Beard’s Cove Restoration ($409,000 – Funded with federal EPA grant dollars)

Grant funding will be provided for the restoration of nearshore and estuarine habitat in Lynch Cove, on the Union River Estuary in Hood Canal. The project will restore up to 1,550 feet of natural shoreline and 1,200 feet of tidal channels, and approximately 7.3 acres of tidal marsh/estuary habitat. The restoration will include the acquisition of approximately 2 acres of Beards Cove Community Organization property that presently contains derelict structures and fill. The restoration, along with a 7-acre conservation easement donation, will reconnect 1.7 miles of contiguous, preserved estuarine habitat.

Phase: Implementation

Sponsor: Great Peninsula Conservancy

Contact: Kate Kuhlman (360) 373-3500

Skokomish Delta Restoration ($1,231,929)

Grant funding will be provided to reconnect forested wetlands to the Skokomish River estuary by removing existing barriers to stream flow and salmon. This project, which will significantly increase the area of wetlands critical for juvenile salmon, includes 17 new stream crossings and restoration of 0.5 miles of existing stream habitat. The overall goal is to restore quality and diverse habitat to the estuary.

Phase: Implementation

Sponsor: Mason Conservation District

Contact: Gavin Glore (360) 427-9436, ext. 120


Teekalet and Port Gamble Restoration ($1,500,000)

Grant funding will be provided to the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe to work with Pope Resources and the Washington Department of Ecology to purchase the development rights of property at Port Gamble Bay and develop a restoration plan to restore coastal processes in the bay. The restoration plan, once implemented, will remove a significant portion of existing jetty, fill and riprap to restore beach habitat. The restoration will enhance a toxics cleanup project at the mill site and bay.

Phase: Acquisition and design

Sponsor: Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe

Contact: Roma Call (360) 297-9687


Railroad Grade Beach Nourishment ($99,010)

Grant funding will be used for a feasibility analysis to determine whether to replenish beach habitat along the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe railroad grade. This joint project between the University of Washington and Snohomish County includes a monitoring effort to assess the functional success of beach nourishment and other treatments.

Phase: Feasibility

Sponsor: University of Washington

Contact: Megan Dethier (206) 543-8096


Bulkhead Removal Planning ($86,684)

Grant funding will be provided to study the effects of bulkhead removal on Puget Sound beaches, helping inform future restoration and protection projects. The effort includes studying a bulkhead removal project at Eld Inlet in Olympia to provide a better understanding of site-specific benefits and basin-wide work to protect Puget Sound beaches.

Phase: Feasibility

Sponsor: South Sound Salmon Enhancement Group

Contact: Brian Combs (360) 412-0808, ext. 104


Restoring Sediment Supply to Sustain Delta Marsh ($350,000)

Grant funding will be provided to develop recommendations for rebuilding marsh land by re-establishing natural processes that distribute sediment at the Nisqually River’s recently restored delta.

Phase: Pre-design

Sponsor: United States Geological Survey

Contact: Eric Grossman (360) 650-4697


Prioritization for Bluffline Structure Protection ($149,621)

Grant funding will be provided to identify actions that will help manage coastal erosion and reduce risk of damage to private and public property. Coastal Geologic Services will compile, augment, and analyze a geodatabase of long-term coastal bluff erosion rates in Puget Sound. This information will be used to characterize risk to properties, identify priority sites to remove shoreline armor, and inform protective strategies involving setback regulations and easement acquisitions.

Phase: Feasibility

Sponsor: Coastal Geologic Services

Contact: Andrea McClennan (360) 671-6654

Identifying Target Beaches for Restoration and Protection (*$34,685.)

Grant funding will be provided to develop a consistent and strategic regional approach for directing site-level restoration and protection proposals for Puget Sound beaches. This effort will provide new and refined spatial data and tools to natural resource managers and local organizations working to restore and protect Puget Sound beach systems. (*Only partial funding due to current level of remaining ESRP funds.)

Phase: Feasibility

Sponsor: Coastal Geologic Services

Contact: Andrea McClennan (360) 671-6654


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