Dec 07


Posted on December 7, 2020 at 2:10 PM by Allan Warren

ShorelinePlanting_Mason Conservation Ditrict PhotoWith funding from the Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program, our Shore Friendly Pierce program is gearing up to launch a mini-grant program to support shoreline stewardship on Puget Sound shorelines. 

Providing incentives to encourage landowners to protect or enhance natural resources on their property isn’t new for Pierce Conservation District. We have a long history of providing cost-share on agricultural properties, where the cost of the project is shared by the landowner and grant or district funding. 

The Shore Friendly Mini-Grant program will follow this model with a new audience of landowners and address resource concerns specific to marine shorelines. Qualifying landowners will be invited to apply for small grants to cover a portion of project costs forShore-Friendly Pierce - 2 stewardship activities including shoreline restoration, armor removal, lawn conversion to native plantings, and drainage improvements that will help protect their property and protect Puget Sound. These stewardship actions (also known as shoreline best management practices) improve natural processes and habitat quality on the shoreline, with direct impacts to species like forage fish and salmon in the nearshore. 

Shoreline development is putting increasing pressure on Puget Sound and the beaches, wildlife, and water we love. Our Shore Friendly program combines education, outreach, and technical and financial assistance to empower landowners to make informed decisions and take action to protect or enhance our precious Puget Sound, one property at a time. 

Keep your eye on our Shore Friendly Pierce website or contact our Shorelines Program Manager to learn about the official Shore Friendly Mini-Grant program launch. 

Dec 07


Posted on December 7, 2020 at 2:04 PM by Allan Warren

SPCP instream structurePhoto: The new side channel shortly after being fully connected with the mainstem of South Prairie Creek.  Not only did this new channel create a half-mile of salmon habitat, but it reconnects the mainstem to the adjacent floodplain, which allows for critical processes that help with flood storage, maintaining flow during summer months, and keeping water temperatures cool.

After years of planning and months of construction, the South Prairie Creek Preserve project reached an important milestone recently in the effort to improve salmon habitat in the Puyallup River watershed.  On a sunny fall day in early October, the barriers that had cordoned off the new side channel from the mainstem of South Prairie Creek were removed, resulting in unobstructed flow and fish access to this new habitat.  

Even before this, salmon migrating upstream were navigating their way through the channel-spanning structures that were built in the mainstem to recruit gravel and create habitat features where fish can rest, feed, rear, and spawn.  The new side channel has also created a half-mile of new habitat that fish can use year-round.  

In addition to these in-stream improvements, the project includes several dozen acres of restoration planting.  Over time, these plantings will create a riparian and floodplain forest that will sustain many of the ecosystem process currently missing from this site.  Some of the project area was able to be planted prior to construction, but now that the earthwork is done, the planting effort ramps up to finish the job.  

Check out a Story Map of the Project: Click Here

A HUGE THANKS is due to the coalition of partners who worked doggedly to bring this project to fruition:  South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group, Pierce County, and the Puyallup Tribe, in addition to project engineers Natural System Designs, contractor Active Construction Inc., cultural resource consultant Aqua Terra, Snohomish CD engineering staff, and field crewsfrom Earth Corps and the Washington Conservation Corps.  Funding provided by the WA State Salmon Recovery Funding Board, Dept. of Ecology, Puget Sound Partnership's Puget Sound Acquisition and RestorationORD plantng at SPCP Fund, Puget Sound National Estuary Program's Habitat Strategic Initiative, Puyallup Tribe of Indians, Pierce County Surface Water Management, Puyallup Watershed Salmon Recovery Lead Entity, and WA Conservation Commission.  And last but not least, many thanks to the volunteers who have been part of the planting efforts over the years!  We couldn’t do it without you!

Photo Caption:  PCD hosted a few small
planting parties along the banks of the new
side channel in honor of Orca Recovery Day (Oct. 17).

SPCP Project Facts:

  • Demolition of 11 buildings and a creosote bridge over South Prairie Creek.
  • Installation of a new bridge over Silver Springs Creek. 
  • Restoration of 2,600 linear feet of side channel on the north floodplain. 
  • Installation of 113 engineered log structures, resulting in 4,648 new pieces of wood in the project reach. 
  • Noxious weed treatment and re-vegetation of up to 50 acres of floodplain and riparian forest.
  • Project cost:  $4.85 million.

Sep 03


Posted on September 3, 2020 at 12:21 PM by Allan Warren

ShorelineOur Shore Friendly Program, launched in Fall 2019, was recently featured by the National Association of Conservation Districts for our participation in the #DistrictsConserveCoasts campaign. The campaign, as a part of National Ocean Month, highlighted efforts by districts around the country to conserve and restore coastal areas facing a diversity of challenges. According to NACD, of the nearly 3,000 conservation districts across the United States, over 300 are located on the coasts and Great Lakes. Districts are tackling local challenges from habitat and species loss, to harmful algal blooms, to shoreline erosion and sea-level rise.

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