Sound Salmon Solutions was recently selected by Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) to participate in launching a new restoration field crew program – the WCC Puget Sound Corps. Washington Conservation Corps (WCC) is a program administered by Ecology that provides a number of AmeriCorps Individual Placements and Field Crews to agencies and organizations throughout Western Washington (including SSS – check out our staff page!). The WCC program offers environmental job training for young adults and military veterans in partnership with the Federal AmeriCorps program. The newly created WCC Puget Sound Corps program provides dedicated crews that work to restore Puget Sound.
The new program is called the Puget Sound Corps, which focuses on providing field-based opportunities around the Puget Sound region. Sound Salmon Solutions was selected to receive one week of crew time to “kick-off” the program. During the week of November 14-17, four project sites were selected to provide a variety of work opportunities for the crew members. The areas were in the Snohomish Basin, including work on the Tolt River, Snoqualmie River and the Snohomish River estuary.
The first task of the week was spreading wood straw on slopes where invasive blackberry had been removed. The wood straw will help reduce runoff and erosion at the Qwuloolt Estuary Restoration, a project funded by the Tulalip Tribes. The crew also helped to remove more blackberry on the site to prepare for the planting of native plants.
The week continued with more removal of invasive blackberry on the Lower Snoqualmie River near Duvall. Sound Salmon Solutions was recently awarded a grant by the King Conservation District to help restore a section of the Snoqualmie River. This marked the first day of field work on the project and about 1 acre of black berry was cut down with hedge trimmers.
On Wednesday the crew moved to a project on the Tolt River near Carnation. The property was purchased by Seattle City Light to protect salmon habitat. Along with students from the River View School District and SSS staff, 245 native plants were installed along the river.
The last task for the week took place at Camp River Ranch which is owned by the Girl Scouts of Western Washington. King Conservation District also provided a grant to restore parts of this property on the Tolt River near Carnation. The crew constructed a native plant nursery on the property and potted over 300 bare root native plants which will be grown and later planted by Girl Scouts along the river.
Sound Salmon Solutions would like to thank Ecology for selecting our work sites for the Puget Sound Corp pilot program. Our project sites provided the work area and Ecology provided the field crews. That is a recipe for success that we hope continues.
To learn more about WCC, AmeriCorps, and Puget SoundCorps, please visit this website: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/wcc/index.html