OLYMPIA – The Washington Salmon Recovery Funding Board announced Monday the award of nearly $18 million in grants for projects to restore salmon habitat throughout the state.
An estimated 75 percent of the funded projects will benefit Chinook salmon, which make up a large part of the southern resident orca whale diet.
“This funding helps protect one of our most beloved legacies,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “Together we’re taking a step forward for salmon, and in turn dwindling southern resident orca whales, while also looking back to ensure we’re preserving historic tribal cultural traditions and upholding promises made more than a century ago.”
Since the creation of the Salmon Recovery Funding Board in 1999, the board has awarded more than $700 million in state and federal funds to more than 2,650 projects across the state. With matching funds provided by grant recipients, the amount invested in board-funded salmon recovery projects is $987 million.
The Salmon Recovery Funding Board awarded grants to organizations for 95 projects in 30 of the state’s 39 counties. Grant recipients will use this funding to remove barriers that prevent salmon from migrating, increase the types and amount of salmon habitat, conserve pristine areas and replant riverbanks to increase places for salmon to spawn, feed, rest, hide from predators and transition from freshwater to saltwater and back again.
“We are committed to restoring salmon populations back to levels that support communities and support people,” said David Troutt, chair of the Salmon Recovery Funding Board. “This funding enables local communities to restore the places salmon live, while also initiating a cascade of other benefits, from less flooding to better water quality, more water in rivers for salmon and other fish, and a boost to our statewide economy.”
More than $1 million in grants was awarded for salmon recovery projects in Mason and Thurston counties.
Mason County —
• Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group awarded $102,497.
• Squaxin Island Tribe awarded $210,557.
• Mason Conservation District awarded $470,902.
Thurston County —
Capitol Land Trust conserving Deschutes River awarded $176,039.
Capitol Land Trust protecting Blooms Ditch awarded $132,351.