Nearshore Strategies Data Report
Cereghino et al 2012 completed a soundwide analysis to identify and describe river delta sites in Puget Sounds as part of a nearshore ecosystem restoration strategy (using remote sensing data c. 2000-2006). The following narrative of this delta site was developed to support distribution and use of analysis results:
- The Skagit Delta in the Whidbey Sub-basin historically contained 19,180 acres of vegetated wetland along a 96 km shoreline. The delta receives flow from a 715,421 square kilometer watershed. These characteristics make this system the largest delta out of 16 systems in Puget Sound.
- Simenstad et al 2011 found that this system had lost 74% of its vegetated tidal wetlands, and 45% of its shoreline length. Of the remaining shoreline, 63% shows some evidence of infrastructure development. In the surrounding uplands, 21% of land is estimated to have greater than 10% impervious surface. Across the watershed, 9% of land is estimated to have greater than 10% impervious surface. Based on these paramters, the site was given a degradation score of 38 out of 100, making it the 8th most degraded delta in Puget Sound. It faces a high risk of future development locally, and a low risk of development across the watershed. Approximately 53% of the watershed is currently impounded behind dams.
Efforts and Workgroups
- The Skagit Watershed Council is implementing the Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Plan which includes specific objectives for restoraiton of Skagit Delta wetlands to benefit threatened Chinook salmon populations.
- The Skagit River Systems Cooperative implements multiple actions and investigations including Wiley Slough Restoration, Milltown Island Restoration, and Deepwater Slough Restoration.
- The Nature Conservancy of Washington is involved in multiple actions and investigations including Fisher Slough Restoration.
- The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife manages designated wildlife areas and extensive land holdings, which are the subject of restoration efforts including Wiley Slough Restoration, Fir Island Farm Restoration.
- The Skagit Delta Intensively Monitored Watershed Project is implemented by Skagit River Systems Cooperative and NW Fisheries Science Center with multiple partners, to evaluate the effect of restoration on Chinook Salmon populations.
- The Skagit Climate Science Consortium provides a mechanism to coordinate climate change research among investigators, and to communicate relevant climate data and tools to local decision makers.
- NOAA, WDFW, SRSC, and the Western Washington Agricultural Association share technical management of the Tidegate Fish Initiative which administers an agreement developed under a Biological Opinion issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service
- 2060 Vision
- 3FI Agricultural Conservation
- Skagit River System Cooperative has an archive of publications that represents perhaps the best set of local publications with an emphasis on salmon ecology.
- Skagit River History Website - Larry Kunzler has assembled an extensive archive of current and historical documents related to Skagit River flood control.
- File:Lipsky 2010 whidbey stakeholder preferences.pdf - a UW masters thesis that observes stakeholder dynamics within the Whidbey Basin
- File:PWA et al 2004 fir island connector assessment.pdf - SRSC completed a study of alternative pathways for creation of a new 'middle fork' distributary to Skagit Bay.