Edmonds City staff have now cut off the natural connection of Perrinville Creek to Puget Sound, eliminating over 100 yards of stream habitat that had been essential habitat for coho salmon and cutthroat trout. We’d even had adult chum salmon sighted in the lower creek, suggesting they may be again spawning in the creek (which otherwise was great news for salmon recovery).
The attached photo shows the huge mound of dirt the city placed in the stream channel, sending all of the creek into diversion structures and a pipe to Puget Sound. City staff apparently had to do this because the stream sediment flow from rain storms has changed the stream channel such that it is flooding adjacent residences.
Current and past city councils and mayors have been warned repeatedly for well over 10 (if not 20) years that the storm drains in the upper Perrinville watershed (in Lynnwood and Edmonds) were sending excessive amounts of rainwater into the creek, eroding the streambanks with every heavy rain. And how has the council and mayor responded — they have allowed (and even encouraged) more development in the upper watershed with impervious surfaces and tree removals, causing all surface rainwater to flow into the storm drains instead of into the ground.
It is ironic that Edmonds is noted for its dedicated high school students (Students Saving Salmon) trying to bring salmon back to Edmonds, while the city has had to destroy salmon habitat to prevent residential flooding.
Mayor Nelson — please start paying attention to the environmental issues in Edmonds.
Please direct your staff to require 100% stormwater infiltration on all new development (no exceptions); prevent the unabated cutting of mature trees that otherwise absorb rainfall; work with Lynnwood to address their contribution to the excess stormwater; direct your staff to figure out how to infiltrate existing storm drains directly into the ground rather than piping excess rainwater into the creek.
It’s time for change (actually it’s past time since we’ve lost another salmon stream in Edmonds).
— By Joe Scordino
A retired fisheries biologist, Joe Scordino lives in Edmonds.