Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

Challenges and opportunities related to habitat enhancement, restoration, and ecosystem productivity in the Salish Sea

Description

The Qwuloolt Estuary Restoration Project located in the Snohomish River Basin, the second largest watershed in Puget Sound, was completed in August of 2015 through a significant levee breach that reconnected a previously cutoff floodplain with tidal inundation. The project area now delivers multiple ecosystem benefits and provides salmon access to 354 acres of estuarine wetlands and improved access to 16 miles of upstream rearing and spawning habitat. Completion of the project achieves close to one third of the ten-year target for estuary restoration of the Snohomish. The principle constructed elements involved the construction of a 3,950 ft setback levee and the lowering of 1,500 ft of existing levee that included a 200 ft breach. Additional interior and adjacent site work included stream and channel restoration, wave attenuation berm construction, native planting, topographic reconstruction, tidegate sealing, and stormwater treatment pond and infra-structure construction. This project, which required twenty years to come to fruition, would not have been possible without the support of multiple partners across agencies and communities. At the same time, this project overcame multiple challenges, with contexts and solutions that can provide practical observations to all concerned with estuarine and salmon recovery in the Salish Sea. In addition, the story of the Qwuloolt project offers a springboard for productive discussion around adaptive technical as well as political, social, economic, and cultural approaches in the habitat recovery process. This talk will provide an overview of the partnerships, scoping, funding, design, implementation, and lessons learned associated with one of Puget Sound’s largest restoration projects to be recently completed.

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The Qwuloolt Estuary Restoration Project: A Holistic View After Implementation

2016SSEC

The Qwuloolt Estuary Restoration Project located in the Snohomish River Basin, the second largest watershed in Puget Sound, was completed in August of 2015 through a significant levee breach that reconnected a previously cutoff floodplain with tidal inundation. The project area now delivers multiple ecosystem benefits and provides salmon access to 354 acres of estuarine wetlands and improved access to 16 miles of upstream rearing and spawning habitat. Completion of the project achieves close to one third of the ten-year target for estuary restoration of the Snohomish. The principle constructed elements involved the construction of a 3,950 ft setback levee and the lowering of 1,500 ft of existing levee that included a 200 ft breach. Additional interior and adjacent site work included stream and channel restoration, wave attenuation berm construction, native planting, topographic reconstruction, tidegate sealing, and stormwater treatment pond and infra-structure construction. This project, which required twenty years to come to fruition, would not have been possible without the support of multiple partners across agencies and communities. At the same time, this project overcame multiple challenges, with contexts and solutions that can provide practical observations to all concerned with estuarine and salmon recovery in the Salish Sea. In addition, the story of the Qwuloolt project offers a springboard for productive discussion around adaptive technical as well as political, social, economic, and cultural approaches in the habitat recovery process. This talk will provide an overview of the partnerships, scoping, funding, design, implementation, and lessons learned associated with one of Puget Sound’s largest restoration projects to be recently completed.