On December 13, 2022, the Methow Salmon Recovery Foundation (MSRF) was awarded $4,794,000 in Salmon Recovery Funding Board (SRFB) funding to implement restoration actions in the Methow River Sugar Reach at 4 project areas between RM 41.25 to 46.5.
The total project cost estimate is $7,386,511 and MSRF is seeking match funding from Department of Ecology’s Floodplain by Design program along with match from Bonneville Power Administration programmatic (BPA).
Sugar (combines Sugar Left and Sugar Right subproject areas), Eagle Rocks, and WA Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The goal of restoration actions is to expand peripheral and transitional habitat, increase instream structural complexity, and improve natural function within the reach to benefit ESA-listed Spring Chinook and Steelhead.
Grant funds will be used to address anthropogenic features including levees, culverts, placed fill, remnant dam features, and bank armoring, and to implement actions to restore river process needed to increase side channel and floodplain connections, in-channel and side-channel complexity, and riparian plantings to provide rearing and refuge habitat.
The Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board serves as the lead entity coordinator for SRFB and works to support the local organizations that submit project proposals each year.
Earlier this year, the Upper Columbia Region received almost $2.5 million for use in the annual SRFB grant round. The region was then alerted to an additional $5 million that would fund a fall 2022 grant round for one large cap project (over $5 million).
Over the past 20 years, this annual funding has established a restoration economy in the region, creating an estimated 2565 jobs and generating $315 million in economic activity.
MSRF will begin seeking to identify interested construction contractors in January 2023.
MSRF will schedule site walk-through opportunities for interested contractors in the spring and/or summer of 2023.
Prospective contractors can contact Jessica Goldberg (Jessica@methowsalmon.org) for more information and to schedule site review.
Construction will occur in 2024 and 2025, though early coordination by construction contractors is recommended for prequalification.
This award was part of nearly $18 million in grants for four large restoration projects around the state awarded by the Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board. The grants will restore land along rivers in Kittitas and Okanogan Counties, conserve habitat next to a refuge in Pacific County and remove barriers to salmon migration in Walla Walla.
In addition, to help recover endangered Southern Resident orcas, the Recreation and Conservation Office announced $9.4 million in federal funding for eight projects to restore habitat for Chinook salmon, the main food for orcas.
“These grants are for large and important projects that will help us take big steps forward in bringing salmon and orcas back from the brink of extinction,” said Megan Duffy, director of the Recreation and Conservation Office, which supports the Salmon Recovery Funding Board.
“We’re grateful that the state Legislature and Congress continue to recognize the importance salmon and orca play in our lives, jobs and recreational pursuits in Washington and have invested in these key projects,” she added.
Salmon Recovery Grants
Funding for the salmon board grants came from the state Legislature in 2021. The board funded $76 million in grants for 138 salmon recovery projects statewide in September. The board approved another $58 million in grant requests for 55 projects in the Puget Sound area that are awaiting legislative approval in 2023. Combined this is the most amount of money directed at salmon recovery in a single year since the board was created 23 years ago.
Orca Recovery Grants
Funding for the orca grants comes from Congress through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as part of the Pacific Salmon Treaty. The treaty, signed by United States and Canada in 1985, provides a framework for the two countries to cooperate on the management of Pacific salmon. Pacific salmon are highly migratory, often spending years at sea and travelling thousands of miles before returning to their native rivers to spawn. The administration is distributing funding across Puget Sound and the West Coast to support orca and Chinook salmon recovery.
Grants were awarded in the counties below:
- King County – $390,334
- Kittitas County – $3,609,135
- Okanogan County – $4,794,000
- Pacific County – $4,794,000
- Skagit County – $430,000
- Snohomish County – $5,428,564
- Walla Walla County – $4,794,000
- Whatcom County – $3,215,844