Communications Specialist III
Snohomish County is Moving Forward to Construct Thomas’ Eddy Floodplain Restoration Project Thanks to $5.85 Million Federal Grant
The grant was awarded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s (NFWF) National Coastal Resilience Fund, in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
EVERETT, Wash., December 15, 2022 – Thanks to the $5.85 million grant from NFWF’s National Coastal Resilience Fund, in partnership with NOAA, and many project partners and stakeholders, the Thomas’ Eddy Floodplain Restoration project at Bob Heirman Wildlife Park is planned to begin construction site preparations in 2023. This long-awaited, multi-beneficial project has been identified in the Snohomish River Basin Salmon Conservation Plan and the Snohomish River Reach Scale plan as a key project for a more resilient Snohomish River floodplain.
This project, led by Snohomish County Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ (DCNR) Surface Water Management (SWM) and Parks Divisions, will reconnect the Snohomish River to more than 200 acres of floodplain at Bob Heirman Wildlife Park. More than a mile of river shoreline will be restored with woody debris added to enhance habitat complexity. This will provide critical rearing and spawning habitat for the Snohomish Basin’s Endangered Species Act-listed Chinook salmon, steelhead and bull trout as well as coho, chum and pink salmon. Improvements will also be made to trail conditions and recreational access to the river, providing park users with better access to fishing, hiking and wildlife viewing.
“Snohomish County is honored to receive this grant, allowing us to complete the Thomas’ Eddy Floodplain Restoration project and make more progress on my Puget Sound Initiative,” Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers said. “We want to thank Sen. Maria Cantwell and Reps. Rick Larsen and Suzan DelBene for their support in securing this funding and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for partnering with us. When this project is complete, critical habitat for threatened salmon will be restored, the Snohomish River floodplain will be more resilient, and there will be improved public access for people to fish, hike, and enjoy the beauty of Snohomish County’s Bob Heirman Wildlife Park.”
“We are grateful for the partnership and collaboration of the many project partners and stakeholders, including the Heirman family, Tulalip Tribes, Pilchuck Audubon Society, Ducks Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, NW Swan Conservation Association, and the public, who worked with us to develop a preliminary design that reflects the interests of many groups,” Director of Snohomish County Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Tom Teigen said. “This funding will push us towards the finish line to get this project completed by 2026.”
DCNR staff started meeting with local stakeholders and the public in spring 2021 to gather input on the design of the restoration project. Ideas generated during this outreach were incorporated into the initial design elements. As this project progresses, additional opportunities for public review and comment will be available. The project is now in the final planning and permitting phase. Site preparations are expected to begin in summer 2023 with construction wrapping up by 2026. Learn more on the project webpage and sign up to receive email or text notification when there is project news.
About Snohomish County Conservation and Natural Resources
The Snohomish County Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) includes the Division of Surface Water Management; the Division of Parks and Recreation; the Office of Energy and Sustainability and the Office of Agriculture. DCNR works in support of thriving communities; a clean and healthy environment to foster environmental stewardship; ensuring food security; supporting a green economy, and strengthening communities by providing regional parks and infrastructure; protecting the region's water, air, land and natural habitats; enhancing agriculture and recreation; and reducing flooding. https://snohomishcountywa.gov/5758.