Salmonenhancement group receives $158,000 in grants

Published on Thu, Jun 14, 2007 by Tara Nelson

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Salmon enhancement group receives $158,000 in grants

By Tara Nelson

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s ALEA Volunteer Cooperative Grant Program recently awarded five grants to Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA), totaling $158,734. 

The grants provide funding for supplies, materials, contractors, and mileage costs for landowners, interns and volunteers to accomplish voluntary salmon habitat restoration projects.

The funds will be used for NSEA projects throughout the 2007-2009, many of which are planned for the Blaine and Birch Bay watershed.
“We are doing some restoration work on Terrell Creek but also that money will be going into projects with California and Dakota creeks, which empty into Drayton Harbor, so we have several fund sources that address all of those watersheds,” said Wendy Scherrer, executive director of NSEA.

One of the programs involves monitoring water quality of Terrell Creek for factors such as dissolved oxygen, pH, fecal coliform and water temperature, she said.

Scherrer said because Birch Bay is the second largest recreational shellfish area in the state, funding for these sources is important.

She said the organization also plans on bringing elementary and high school students to study their backyard streams, including students from Blaine, Lynden and Ferndale.

“It cumulatively kind of hits everything,” she said. “We want to educate people as well as perform on-the-ground community based-projects resulting in protection and restoration of aquatic ecosytems.”

Scherrer said NSEA is also waiting for a response from the Puget Sound Nearshore Partnership program for another possible grant of $50,000. The agency was started by Governor Christine Gregoire last year.
If successful, the grant will go toward restoring estuaries from Drayton Harbor, Birch Bay down to Padden estuary and Chuckanut Bay.

“It’s such good news,” she said. “We went into 2007 with half the budget we had last year, so we’re regaining the funds to do more work.”
For more information, call NSEA at 715-0283.