New Seattle Effort Aims to Boost Salmon Habitat

A joint effort is underway to recover healthy salmon stocks in the Lower Duwamish River.

Elected officials for Washington’s King County, the cities of Seattle and Tukwila and the Port of Seattle are collaborating to promote a new effort to recover healthy salmon stocks in Seattle’s Lower Duwamish River.

The four government entities are hoping to find the right individual to serve as the Duwamish River Basin Steward, who would provide on-the-ground technical services to community members and other stakeholders to protect and restore habitats that assist in helping restore salmon stocks in the river.

The effort is designed to include acquisition of open space, complete habitat restoration projects and direct engagement with communities.

Basin stewards work with residents and technical staff to develop and implement priority habitat protection and restoration projects in critical areas along rivers and streams. They also help streamside landowners to identify resources, including funds for habitat protection.

The new jointly funded position is a collaboration of the WRIA 9 Watershed Ecosystem Forum and is to be housed within the King County Basin Steward Program.

The program was announced in late October, following Orca Recovery Day.

“Salmon are not only a cherished Northwest icon,” Seattle Council member Lisa Herbold said. “They are also a keystone species, an indicator of our region’s environmental health and an invaluable resource for our orca population. With our jurisdictions coming together, we are fulfilling a need for our communities.”