Snohomish River watershed plan to tackle threats to salmon head-on

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The plan calls for the protection and cleanup of aquatic habitat from the forests of the Cascades to where the river empties into the salt water of the Salish Sea.

Calling it the “Watershed Resilience Action Plan” for the Snohomish River WatershedWashington State Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz introduced a patch system on Tuesday to get salmon and other fish back into the river.

Citing 16 populations of salmon and salmon-like fish that are now endangered or threatened, the plan calls for the protection and cleanup of aquatic habitat from the forests of the Cascades to where the river meets. throws into the salt water of the Salish Sea.

It also aims to restore forest in urban areas and the streams that flow through them into the river. Not only do the trees filter the water that flows into the river, but they also provide shade. Salmon and salmonid species, like trout, depend on cold water, and in a warming Western Washington where 100-degree temperatures are no longer unheard of, more trees can provide shade that can mitigate the effects.

But the effort does not stop at the end of the river. The plan also includes restoring algae and seagrass where salmon smolts leaving the river can find food and hide from predators.

Reducing pollution is also part of the plan, which includes removing derelict ships along its shores.

“Despite decades of focus and nearly a billion dollars invested in recovery efforts, the sad reality is that our salmon are dying,” Franz said. “We must confront head-on the threats that jeopardize our iconic salmon, from climate change and pollution to a growing population and increased urban development. That’s where this plan comes in.

“This watershed-wide approach provides a model for coordinating and targeting investments to maximize impact and achieve sustainable progress. The Department of Natural Resources is one of many members of the Watershed Resilience and Salmon Recovery Partner Network. No entity can do everything, but each of us must do everything we can.

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