The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has begun distributing $12 million in funding for 20 local projects designed to protect and restore the natural shorelines around Puget Sound, including the $250,000 3 Crabs Nearshore and Estuarine Restoration project.
Project sponsors include local governments, tribes and nonprofit organizations from Hood Canal to the San Juan Islands who applied for funding through two competitive grant programs administered by the department.
The $261,963 in grant funds will be used to restore the 3 Crabs site located in the Dungeness estuary for future restoration and to develop designs and permits. Site prep includes demolition of existing buildings and removal of septic systems.
Designs developed for future restoration will include removal of 5 acres of fill and creosote pilings, shoreline armoring and dike removal, bridge construction and road relocation.
Betsy Lyons, who manages state Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program, said most projects funded this year involve removing unnecessary bulkheads, correcting barriers to salmon passage and restoring tidal functions altered by land-use practices over the past century.
“More than a quarter of Puget Sound’s 2,500-mile shoreline is currently lined with bulkheads or other types of shoreline structures,” Lyons said. “These restoration projects will play an important role in advancing salmon recovery and ensuring our natural areas are healthy and productive.”
Patricia Jatczak, fish and wildlife manager for the EPA grant program, said this year’s funding was directed to qualified projects at shoreline parks that are accessible to the public.
“One goal of these projects is to give the public a chance to learn about beach processes and the role shorelines play in salmon survival,” Jatczak said.
“People may not realize, for example, that sediment from bluffs is critical in providing new beach material and creating healthy shorelines. Loss of sediment can lead to reduced breeding habitat for nearshore fish such as surf smelt that salmon feed on.”
While both grant programs focus on restoring Puget Sound shorelines and salmon runs, they also provide other public benefits, said ESRP Manager Betsy Lyons.
“These projects provide a number of additional benefits for local communities by creating jobs, reducing the risk of floods and expanding public access to Puget Sound shorelines,” she said.
Jefferson County projects include the Discovery Bay Railroad Grade, Beach and Estuary Restoration ($1.2 million), Dabob Bay Shoreline Restoration and Protection ($210,000), Kilisut Harbor Restoration ($427,475) and Fort Townsend Shoreline Restoration ($52,126).