Nisqually river to point defiance nearshore restoration assessment

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South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group completed a nearshore habitat restoration assessment of the shoreline from the Nisqually River to Point Definance.

This project will assess nearshore habitat between the Nisqually River and Point Defiance to identify potential restoration projects likely to benefit salmon. Both the WRIA 11 and WRIA 12 limiting factors analyses noted the poor habitat condition of this shoreline, including estuarine habitat loss and impacts from rail line fill. Burlington Northern is one of several partners cooperating on this project. The 2004 WRIA 11 Salmon Recovery Strategy lists restoration of the nearshore as Highest Priority, and the WRIA 10/12 strategy lists a WRIA 12 nearshore assessment as a high near-term priority. This assessment will fill a crucial data gap, covering the last substantial shoreline in South Puget Sound that has not been assessed. This project will assess current and historic habitat conditions and ecosystem processes, and will develop potential restoration projects. A final report will prioritize potential restoration project sites, based on criteria including likelihood of positive impact to salmon and cost-effectiveness. Project deliverables are: Restoration recommendations for the project reach detailing current habitat conditions of specific sites and the predicted response of the sites to restoration. A prioritized list of recommended restoration projects in the study area based on benefit to salmon. Preliminary engineering designs and landowner agreements for estuarine restoration at 2-3 specific project sites. Compilation of new and existing data into an accessible database.

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