Federal Grant to Benefit Southern Resident Killer Whale and Chinook Recovery

Posted August 19, 2020 at 11:06 am by

South­ern Res­i­dents — Con­tributed photo

State receives more than $11 mil­lion in fed­er­al grants to ben­e­fit South­ern Res­i­dent killer whale and Chi­nook recovery…

The Wash­ing­ton State Recre­ation and Con­ser­va­tion Office (RCO) today announced the award of more than $11 mil­lion in grants to 11 Chi­nook salmon habi­tat and hatch­ery projects from a new grant pro­gram under the Pacif­ic Salmon Treaty. NOAA Fish­eries is dis­trib­ut­ing the fund­ing across Puget Sound and the West Coast to sup­port South­ern Res­i­dent killer whale and Chi­nook salmon recovery.

These whales are at the heart of who we are in the Pacif­ic North­west, from our mar­itime his­to­ry to our cul­tur­al her­itage,” said Kaleen Cot­ting­ham, RCO direc­tor and mem­ber of the Governor’s South­ern Res­i­dent Killer Whale Task Force. “We’re proud to be part of this col­lab­o­ra­tive effort work­ing to recov­er these beloved crea­tures and look for­ward to see­ing these projects unfold through­out Puget Sound and coastal Wash­ing­ton.”

The goals of the fund­ing include increas­ing Chi­nook salmon prey for South­ern Res­i­dent killer whales by 4–5 percent.

Cana­da, the Unit­ed States, and native tribes share West Coast salmon stocks, and we also share a strong inter­est in and desire to recov­er endan­gered South­ern Res­i­dent killer whales,” said Scott Rum­sey, Deputy Region­al Admin­is­tra­tor for NOAA Fish­eries’ West Coast Region. “Thanks to fund­ing under the Pacif­ic Salmon Treaty we can now ‘put our mon­ey where our poli­cies are’ with impor­tant finan­cial com­mit­ments to recov­er at-risk salmon stocks, sus­tain West Coast salmon fish­eries, and sup­port killer whale con­ser­va­tion and recov­ery in Wash­ing­ton and beyond.”

Fund­ed projects include eight habi­tat pro­tec­tion and restora­tion projects in Puget Sound and Hood Canal and three hatch­ery-focused projects. The fund­ing is asso­ci­at­ed with a new 10-year Pacif­ic Salmon Treaty agree­ment com­plet­ed in 2019.

Fund­ing will also sup­port projects imple­ment­ed by the Nook­sack Indi­an Tribe, Upper Skag­it Indi­an Tribe, Stil­laguamish Tribe of Indi­ans, Sno­homish Tribe of Indi­ans, and Tulalip Tribes.

Our Tribe is very excit­ed that it received this RCO grant that will enable dike set­back along the low­er Dun­ge­ness Riv­er to restore almost 2 miles of habi­tat and flood­plain con­nec­tiv­i­ty — allow­ing the riv­er room to breathe,” said W. Ron Allen, chair of the Jamestown S’K­lal­lam Tribe. “A healthy riv­er means healthy salmon.”

A full list of projects is avail­able on RCO’s Web site.

Since 1999, RCO, through the Salmon Recov­ery Fund­ing Board (SRFB), has dis­trib­uted more than $1.23 bil­lion in state and fed­er­al funds to advance salmon recov­ery statewide, with more than $649 mil­lion direct­ed toward efforts in the Puget Sound.

Cre­at­ed in 1964, the Recre­ation and Con­ser­va­tion Office pro­vides statewide lead­er­ship and fund­ing to pro­tect and improve the best of Washington’s nat­ur­al and out­door recre­ation resources.

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Categories: Animals, Environment

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