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Department of Ecology News Release - December 1, 2017

Ecology to fund almost $450,000 in water quality improvement projects

Environmental restoration grants reach across state

Heavy equipment widening a stream channel.

2015 Ecology Terry Husseman Account grant used to plant native vegetation to restore Spangle Creek in Spangle, Wash.

OLYMPIA –

More than a dozen locally-sponsored water quality improvement and environmental enhancement projects across Washington will receive up to $50,000 in state grant funding to benefit state residents.

The Department of Ecology is awarding nearly $450,000 to fund 14 different projects: Six are located in eastern Washington, five in western Washington and another three are considered to be of statewide significance that will significantly improve the natural environment in multiple watersheds.

During the current fiscal year – July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018 – the grants will pay for a variety of projects such as installing livestock fencing to keep animals out of critical streams, replacing invasive plants with native vegetation in important floodplains and wetlands, and placing woody debris in streams and rivers to recreate salmon habitat.

The grants are funded through Ecology’s Terry Husseman Account designed to help local governments, conservation and port districts, tribal governments, fisheries enhancement groups, and other state agencies pay for a variety of environmental projects.

The Terry Husseman Account is funded by payments from penalties the department issues for violations of the state Water Pollution Control Act. The account is named after long-time Ecology deputy director Terry Husseman who died in 1998 and honors contributions in the field of environmental management.

Ecology evaluated 27 different project submittals worth about $945,000. The department weighed each proposal’s expected environmental benefits, local support and involvement, cost effectiveness, and readiness of the project to proceed and be completed on time and on budget.
 

Terry Husseman Account grant awards for 2017-18 funding cycle

Central Washington

(includes Benton, Chelan, Douglas, Kittitas, Klickitat, Okanogan and Yakima counties)

Organization Project name Amount How the grant will be funded
Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group Coleman Creek River Mile 3.8 Water Quality Improvement $32,141 The fisheries enhancement group will fund water quality, floodplain function and habitat improvements on Coleman Creek in Kittitas County. Work to include removing two dilapidated buildings and restoring the site to natural conditions. Community volunteers will help revegetate the disturbed area.

Eastern Washington

(includes Adams, Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Walla Walla and Whitman counties)

Organization Project name Amount How the grant will be funded
Pomeroy Conservation District Blachly Deadman Creek Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) Partnership $29,500 To improve water quality in Deadman Creek in Garfield County, the conservation district will install off-stream water systems for livestock and heavy use areas. CREP project funds will pay for installation of 2.5 miles of livestock exclusion fencing.
Spokane Conservation District Hangman Creek Partnership $17,000 To improve water quality in Spokane County’s Little Hangman Creek, the conservation district will install 1,500 feet of livestock exclusion fencing, and put in off-stream water systems and heavy use areas to protect about 2,300 feet of stream corridor from livestock impacts.
Walla Walla County Conservation District Williams Buffer Phase 1 $26,300 To prevent livestock access to about 100 feet of Little Mud Creek in Walla Walla County, the conservation district will install 1,700 feet of livestock exclusion fencing and revegetate the riparian area by planting native plants in the stream channel and shrub berries and arid plants in the upland area.
Whitman Conservation District Alkali Creek Exclusion $24,250 To improve water quality in Whitman County’s Alkali Flat Creek, the conservation district will plant native riparian vegetation, install 2,270 feet of livestock exclusion fencing, put in off-stream water systems and heavy use areas, and establish a 50-foot buffer to protect about 1,135 feet of stream corridor from livestock impacts.
Pomeroy Conservation District Beale Meadow Creek Livestock BMP $21,957 To improve water quality of Meadow Creek in Garfield County, conservation district will install 2,200 feet of livestock exclusion fencing to prevent livestock access to creek’s riparian areas and a small spring-fed tributary.

Northwest Washington

(includes Island, King, Kitsap, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish and Whatcom counties)

Organization Project name Amount How the grant will be funded
King County Water and Land Resources Division Boise Creek Riparian Restoration – Enumclaw Golf Course $40,000 King County will use grant funding to improve water quality and habitat within and adjacent to Boise Creek by replacing invasive vegetation with native trees and shrubs.
Skagit Conservation District Wilson Riparian Planting and Neighbor Outreach $18,500 To improve water quality in Skagit County’s Bulson Creek, a priority sub-basin that drains to south to Skagit Bay, the conservation district will install 2.18 acres of riparian plantings along a wetland buffer to the creek.
Snohomish County-Public Works Department Native Trees Restoration in the Pilchuck $25,000 Snohomish County will improve water quality in the Pilchuck River by planting about five acres of native trees and shrubs. The project builds upon previous efforts to control knotweed and restore salmon habitat.

Southwest Washington

(includes Clallam, Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Pierce, Skamania, Thurston and Wahkiakum counties)

Organization Project name Amount How the grant will be funded
Lower Columbia Fish Enhancement Group Toutle River Critical Fish Habitat Enhancement $27,000 The fisheries group will improve stream and riparian habitats in the Toutle River watershed by purchasing and placing high-quality large woody debris and bare root stock for fish habitat projects in multiple lower Columbia River tributaries. The entity also will use Salmon Recovery Funding Board funding to improve stream and riparian habitats in the watershed.
Jefferson County Public Works Lower Big Quilcene Floodplain Demolitions and Replanting $35,810 Jefferson County will help restore natural functions in the lower three miles of the Big Quilcene River. The project includes removing structures, household materials and vehicles, and decommissioning wells to protect surface and shallow groundwater in the river's floodplain. Grant funds will be used to match a state Salmon Recovery Funding Board grant to help purchase and restore selected floodplain properties as protected open space.

Statewide Significance

(These projects are of statewide significance because they are designed to improve the overall water quality of Puget Sound or other regional water bodies.)

Organization Project name Amount How the grant will be funded
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission Dash Point/Saltwater State Parks – Invasive Species Removal and Stream Restoration $50,000 To enhance salmon habitat on stream reaches in Puget Sound, State Parks will hire a Washington Conservation Corps (WCC) crew to remove invasive plant species and restore function to two small urban watersheds.
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission Hope Island State Park – Invasive Species Removal and Habitat Enhancement $50,000 State Parks will hire a WCC crew to remove and reduce populations of invasive woody and non-woody plant species on Hope Island in Puget Sound. The invasive species have threatened the integrity and function of forest and rocky prairie habitats.
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission Central and Eastern State Parks – Restoration and Enhancement $50,000 To improve the water quality at several state parks in Central and Eastern Washington, the state commission will hire a WCC crew to properly manage or eradicate noxious weeds, address erosion impacts due to informal roads and other land disturbances, construct livestock exclusion fencing and plant native species in riparian zones.

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Amy Krause
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