Edmonds receives $200,000 grant to studying Willow Creek daylighting

Photo courtesy Friends of Edmonds Marsh Facebook page.

Photo courtesy Friends of Edmonds Marsh Facebook page.

The City of Edmonds will receive a $200,000 state grant to continue studying the feasibility of opening up — or daylighting — Willow Creek to improve habitat for salmon.

The grant is from the Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration Fund (PSAR), through the State of Washington Recreation and Conservation office’s Salmon Recovery Funding Board. It’s part of more than $42 million given to organizations around the state for projects that restore and protect salmon habitat. You can find more information about the grant program here.

The marsh connection to salmon is Willow Creek, shown on the map at left as a blue line traveling through the Edmonds Marsh. The creek then enters a 1,600-foot pipe (shown as a green line on the map) where it goes under the railroad tracks, under the marina parking lot, under the beach, and into Puget Sound.

The marsh connection to salmon is Willow Creek, shown on the map at left as a blue line traveling through the Edmonds Marsh. The creek then enters a 1,600-foot pipe (shown as a green line on the map) where it goes under the railroad tracks, under the marina parking lot, under the beach, and into Puget Sound.

The city will use the grant to complete the feasibility study for a project to improve the connection of Edmonds Marsh to Puget Sound through Willow Creek, which currently flows through a system of buried pipes and vaults built in the 1960s. Restoring an open channel connection from the marsh to Puget Sound will give salmon access to the marsh for rearing.

Edmonds Marsh is a 32-acre remnant of a historical, 100-plus-acre estuary and marsh complex located a short distance from downtown Edmonds. The creek is used by Chinook salmon, which are listed as threatened with the risk of extinction under the federal Endangered Species Act.

The City of Edmonds will contribute $35,300 in donations of labor for the feasibility phase plus additional funding to move the project into the permitting and design phases.

You can learn more about the Willow Creek issue and how it affects the marsh in our earlier story here.

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1 Comment

  1. Why are the tide gates closed in the winter? It is totally backwards. The marsh needs year round sea water in order to be effective. Why can’t the tide gates be open or closed as needed? Is someone afraid to make a decision as to when to open or close the gates.
    Regards Gary Tissot

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