Representatives of the Lake Washington/Cedar/Sammamish Watershed, also known as Water Resource Inventory Area (WRIA) 8, spent Monday morning reviewing the WSDOT/Community Marsh Restoration Project.
Among those in attendance were Jason Mulvhill-Kuntz, WRIA 8 salmon recovery manager (accompanied by his son Colin); Carrie Byron, WRIA 8 projects and funding coordinator; restoration project volunteer leader Joe Scordino; Edmonds City Council President Vivian Olson and City Councilmember Diane Buckshnis.
This year, marsh restoration volunteers — guided by Scordino — achieved the goal of removing all the blocking fencing and so much nightshade that Shellabarger Creek is now able to provide a free flow of fresh water. “The window of restoration work has ended but in just two years, the significant movement of fresh water from Shellabarger Creek into the Edmonds Marsh is inspirational as was all the hard work from the volunteers, including many students from the Students Saving Salmon Club,” Buckshnis said. “The regional salmon recovery coordinators were impressed with the volunteer capability to begin the needed restoration of the Edmonds Marsh that will someday allow salmon to flourish in this area.”
WRIA 8 runs from the Puget Sound nearshore and the inlands of the north end of Elliott Bay to south Everett and east to the Bear Creek basin, the Issaquah Alps, and upper reaches of the Cedar River. It is in the process of adding the Marsh Near-Shore Estuary Restoration onto the Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Council’s priority list, which provide the marsh with maximum grant exposure, Buckshnis said.
“Having Carrie, Jason and Colin here was a wonderful way to see the hands-on work and discuss scientific requirements for a successful restoration project,” she added.
With a bit more time on their calendar, the group made a visit to Shell Creek. There, they reviewed and discussed issues in the upper Shell Creek reach where the cement remnants are diverting the flow of the creek into the bluffs, causing erosion of the banks and bridge.
The Salmon Recovery Council is composed of local elected officials; concerned citizens; scientists; and representatives from business and environmental interests, water and sewer districts, and federal and state agencies. The council oversees implementation of a science-based salmon conservation plan in the Lake Washington/Cedar/Sammamish Watershed.