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Environment

State Invests in Salmon Habitat By Evin Moore

Recently, the Washington State Legislature designated $45 million to salmon habitat recovery projects. Salmon, especially Chinook, are a staple in the diet of the Southern resident Killer Whales, and the reduction in total number of Chinook salmon is thought to be a major contributor to the decline of the orca population. The 64 total grants were awarded by the Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board, in association with the Puget Sound Partnership. The grants will go the counties surrounding Puget Sound and will focus on improving salmon habitat and conserving shorelines and riverbanks. “When we invest in salmon recovery, it’s not just salmon that we’re saving,” said Governor Jay Inslee. “Whether you live near, love to play in, or simply care about Puget Sound, this funding is a cornerstone of doing that—and

investing in that habitat kickstarts a suite of other benefits. We’re also preserving our Pacific Northwest legacy, our way of life, our jobs, our neighborhoods, and our communities.” Species of Northwest salmon have been on the federal endangered species list since the early 1990s, and at one point 14 species of local salmon and steelhead, and 3 species of bull trout were on the list. At the start of the 21st century, 40 percent of historic salmon breeding ground in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and California had disappeared. There have been recovery efforts over the last 20 years, but in some areas, progress has slowed and even reversed. “We know that restoring salmon to levels that support our environment, other wildlife, and people, takes time, effort, and of course, sustained funding,” said

Kaleen Cottingham, director of the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. “That’s what makes this continued investment so important, and we’re looking forward to seeing it play out in the shovel-ready projects teed up across Puget Sound.” The awarded grants will be used for various projects around Puget Sound, including the removal of a diversion dam that will open up 37 miles on the Pilchuck River, the reconnecting a mile of the Dungeness River with 112 acres of floodplain, and opening 16 miles of habitat on the Nooksack River. Projects are prioritized by local watershed groups, which are the lead entities, as well as regionally ranked by the Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Council. Funds for the grants came from the sale of state bonds. “The Puget Sound Partnership is committed to recovering salmon populations in this region and we are thrilled to see this funding come through,” said Laura Blackmore, executive director of the Partnership. “Salmon are integral to the identity and traditions of the Pacific Northwest and are a vital part of the Puget Sound food web. This funding will support projects that help recover salmon populations and feed our struggling southern resident orcas.”

Grants

Grow Boating Grant Program Begins for 2020 By Randy Woods

The application process for the 2020 Grow Boating program, which encourages boating activity in the Pacific Northwest, will begin August 1 and continue through October 1, 2019. The grants are offered to nonprofits that promote the boating lifestyle through special events, sponsorships, and other boating programs in the region. Sponsored by Northwest Marine Trade Association (NMTA), the Grow Boating program has issued more than $1.6 million in boating promotions since it was formed in 2003. NMTA said it expects to determine the winners of several grants worth up to $30,000 by this December, which will be distributed in the spring of 2020. Mark Yuasa, director of Grow Boating, said the program, funded by a portion of rental fees collected by NMTA at its Seattle Boat Show each January, has reached “a million-plus people” since it began. Every organization or group seeking Grow Boating grants for their future events must fall into one the three following categories: •Youth Boating: aimed at programs that increase youth participation in boating activities •Discover Boating: for programs that introduce new people to the world of boating •Boater Education/Safety: for educating new or current boaters on how to be safe on the water More information about the Grow Boating program can be found at nmta.net/ grow-boating.

18 NORTHWEST YACHTING || AUGUST 2019

Profile for Northwest Yachting

Northwest Yachting August 2019  

The best of boating lifestyle in the Pacific Northwest - featuring a trip to the Kenai Peninsula aboard a classic 80' Burger yacht, the inte...

Northwest Yachting August 2019  

The best of boating lifestyle in the Pacific Northwest - featuring a trip to the Kenai Peninsula aboard a classic 80' Burger yacht, the inte...