Valerie Normand Meghan Jordan
Communications Specialist II Communications Specialist III
Snohomish County Will Receive $2.8 Million Grant to Advance Three Floodplain Restoration Projects
Federal funding supports a coalition of tribal and local partners working together to foster Chinook Salmon recovery and ecosystem resilience in Puget Sound
SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash., May 1, 2023 – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) awarded its Transformational Habitat Restoration and Coastal Resilience Grants to a coalition of local and tribal partners, with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) as administrative lead. As a sub-recipient of this grant, Snohomish County Surface Water Management Division (SWM) will receive $2.8 million to advance three habitat and floodplain restoration projects under the Community Floodplain Solutions program in the Snohomish Basin: Thomas’ Eddy, Shinglebolt Slough, and Chinook Marsh.
Under this NOAA grant, in the Snohomish and Stillaguamish River Basins, a broad coalition of partners including the Stillaguamish and Tulalip Tribes, the County, state agencies, local government, and nonprofit organizations, will restore more than 1,200 acres of estuary and river floodplain function, along more than 17 miles of shoreline, and advance more than 750 acres of future habitat restoration work. In the Skagit River Basin, grant partners will restore 627 acres of estuarine tidal marsh and pocket estuary habitat in one of the most important watersheds within Puget Sound for habitat recovery.
“Snohomish County appreciates NOAA’s support for this grant and looks forward to joining with our partners to complete this essential work,” said Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers. “Achieving recovery of the Puget Sound Chinook is a transformational goal for the entire Pacific Northwest. Estuary restoration will have broad benefits across our community and economy – for tribal, commercial, and recreational fisheries, underserved tribal communities and treaty rights, and recovery of multiple threatened and endangered species of salmon and Orca. These projects support key community priorities like climate resilience, flood protection, agricultural and economic vitality, and recreation.”
These County projects will accelerate estuary restoration, increase floodplain connectivity for fish and provide resilience to climate change in the Snohomish Basin.
- The Thomas’ Eddy Floodplain Restoration project at Bob Heirman Wildlife Park has been identified in the Snohomish River Reach Scale plan as a key project for a more resilient Snohomish River floodplain. This project is necessary to reconnect and restore natural river process and function to more than 200 acres of Snohomish River floodplain, including reconnecting approximately 1.5 miles of off/side channel habitat. When completed, it will improve opportunities for fishing, hiking and wildlife viewing while restoring critical habitat for wildlife and threatened salmon species.
- The Shinglebolt Slough project near Sultan is the first integrated floodplain management project funded under the Community Floodplains Solutions (CFS) program. The project will restore more than 1,600 feet of side channel to provide off-channel juvenile rearing habitat, as well as restore mainstem edge habitat and channel complexity for salmon recovery. In addition to these habitat benefits, it will retain quality agriculture parcels for local farm production and support flood hazard reduction and mitigation efforts along the Skykomish River.
- At Chinook Marsh, Snohomish County is planning to restore publicly owned property between Ebey Slough and Fobes Hill in the Snohomish River estuary. At this stage, the Chinook Marsh project will be developing preliminary designs and choosing a preferred alternative for restoration of more than 400 acres of tidal wetlands to provide juvenile salmon rearing habitat in an area of the estuary where it is needed most for salmon recovery.
“I am proud to work in collaboration with local partners in the Whidbey Basin to support their work. These projects will restore habitat for salmon and create rivers and estuaries that are more resilient to floods in a changing climate. Nature-based solutions like the ones in this portfolio of project actions will support our local communities for generations,” said WDFW Program Manager Jay Krienitz.
Learn more about this grant program on the webpage.
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.