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King County Flood District approves $1.2 million for Green/Duwamish watershed project

The King County Flood Control District approved $1.2 million in funding to boost the clean water and salmon recovery efforts of groups in the Green/Duwamish River and Central Puget Sound watershed.

The district approved projects Monday aimed at improving water quality, controlling flooding, protecting and restoring habitat, and supporting salmon recovery efforts in Water Resource Inventory Area 9 (WRIA 9), according to a King County media release.

The cities that are part of WRIA 9 include: Algona, Auburn, Black Diamond, Burien, Covington, Des Moines, Enumclaw, Federal Way, Kent, Maple Valley, Normandy Park, Renton, SeaTac, Seattle and Tukwila.

“It is vitally important to protect our local water resources and habitats,” said Supervisor Reagan Dunn, chair of the Flood Control District Board of Supervisors. “I am pleased that the Flood Control District can partner with the 16 local governments and other agencies inside WIRA 9 and play a key role in helping to fund these projects.”

The grants, which also leveraged an additional $1.25 million for WRIA 9, help it carry out WRIA 9 salmon conservation projects for Endangered Species Act-listed species according to annual priorities set by the WRIA Forum.

“This funding will help restore and protect the beautiful watershed in South King County, which provides environmental and economic benefits to our community,” said Julia Patterson, vice-chair of the King County Flood Control District. “I look forward to watching these dollars at work in protecting our South County resources.”

In the Cooperative Watershed Management Grant Program, projects must address high priority habitats or watershed processes that significantly influence productivity in each basin. To ensure high quality projects, only those that have been scientifically vetted and ranked competitively by their respective WRIA Forum are candidates for funding. Cities, towns, special districts, public schools, King County, federally recognized tribes and non-profits are eligible to apply for the grants.

“With the loss of King Conservation district funding, the funding WRIA 9 receives from the Flood Control District is instrumental in leveraging an additional $5 million from local, state and federal agencies,” said Marlla Mhoon, co-chair WRIA 9 Watershed Ecosystem Forum and a member of the Covington City Council. “Without the FCD funding, we would not be able to move forward to implement the critical habitat projects to recover Chinook salmon and improve the water quality of the Green/Duwamish River and the coastal areas of King County. Flood control and habitat restoration projects are synonymous.”

King County’s Water and Land Resources Division in the Department of Natural Resources and Parks administers the grant allocation process with the Flood Control District executive committee overseeing project selections. The Flood Control District board will pursue on-going funding for future watershed management actions given the relationship between flood control and stormwater projects and cooperative watershed management.

Visit the Flood Control District website at http://www.kingcountyfloodcontrol.org/ to view the list of the eight WRIA 9 projects approved for funding.

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