Mar 01

2020 UPDATE ON PCD’S NEW SHORELINES PROGRAM

Posted on March 1, 2021 at 9:42 AM by Allan Warren

DeMolay Sandspit Nature Preserve_Project SummaryAerial view of the DeMolay Sandspit Nature Preserve. Main project areas outlined in red, including 220 ft of armor on mapped feeder bluff and an additional 380 ft of armor and debris in mapped transport zones. Photo Credit: Washington Dept. of Ecology WA Coastal Atlas.

Shore-Friendly Pierce - 2Pierce Conservation District launched the Shore Friendly Pierce program in 2019 to address the restoration and protection of our local shorelines.

Region-wide, there is a growing understanding of the critical role marine shorelines must play in salmon and orca recovery efforts, and how much of this landscape has been compromised by human activity. Shoreline development, like the addition of hard armor bulkheads, interrupts nearshore processes that allow for the formation of critical habitat areas like eel grass beds, coastal inlets, and estuaries. These habitats are

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Mar 01

SOUTH PRAIRIE CREEK PRESERVE PROJECT UPDATES

Posted on March 1, 2021 at 9:17 AM by Allan Warren

WCC Planting 2Construction Complete, but Restoration Work Continues.

The major earthwork and construction of the South Prairie Creek floodplain and salmon habitat project wrapped up last fall and has performed well during its first winter (so far). The new side channel, in particular, is expected to experience some changes as it adapts to seasonal flow fluctuations and other natural processes.

Project partners are also excited by evidence of fish using both new and improved habitat within the project area. Last October, Chinook salmon were seen spawning in the structures installed in the mainstem of South Prairie Creek. And a survey of the new side channel in February confirmed it was being used by young steelhead and Chinook!

Photos: Washington Conservation Corps crew members, as well as numerous volunteers helped install 9,575 plants, restoring 12.7 acres of habitat. We’re already seeing endangered salmonids return, such as this Chinook fry that was caught while sampling the new channel. Photos courtesy of Kristin Williamson, SPSSEG and Kayla Ink, WCC.

Also completed this winter was the installation of 9575 plants over more than 12.7 acres. MostChinook 2 of the planting has been done by the District’s dedicated WA Conservation Corps (WCC) crew, with assists from Pierce County Surface Water Management’s WCC crew, and the volunteers who joined us in a COVID-safe manner for Orca Recovery Day last October.

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.
Dec 07

SHORE FRIENDLY MINI-GRANT PROGRAM LAUNCHING SOON

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.