Faculty Advisor

Dr David Rossiter

Document Type


Publication Date



Internship Report


The Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA) is a non-profit organization that aims to educate, inspire and engage the community to take action to keep wild salmon here in Whatcom County for future generations. NSEA sees salmon as a vital part of the local culture, economy, and environment, and therefore is working to engage the community to preserve, protect, and care for the wellbeing and stability of salmon runs. The work of the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association focuses on restoring riparian zones, local education of all ages, and community engagement and outreach. NSEA sees engaging in this work as a means to provide local salmon populations with their best prospect of success and survival. Three main types of restoration are done by NSEA consisting of stream bank restoration, fish passage barrier removal, and stream transformation. One way that restoration is done is by organizing community work parties at which volunteers of any experience level can work alongside NSEA staff to restore stream banks and riparian zones. Work party restoration efforts include planting or live-staking native trees and shrubs, removal of non-native species, garbage removal, and tree cage assembly and removal. Stream bank restoration also takes place on Students For Salmon field trips, but mostly consists of non-native plant removal. Fish passage barrier removal is another restoration effort performed that involves fixing culverts that are not conducive to upstream migration or removing culverts to be replaced with bridges. This works to increase the usability of streams and allow for salmon to journey back upstream as easily as they came down. Another effort to improve habitat is stream transformation which involves in-stream restoration of important salmon habitat features such as gravel and large woody debris. By adding these elements, crucial salmon habitat has the potential to dramatically increase in productivity. These three efforts combined have already proven to improve local salmon habitat.




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