Spring Chinook salmon. COURTESY PHOTO, Michael Humling, US Fish & Wildlife Service

Spring Chinook salmon. COURTESY PHOTO, Michael Humling, US Fish & Wildlife Service

King County Flood District awards $56,378 grant to city of Kent for salmon restoration

Funds for Downey Farmstead Side Channel project

The city of Kent will receive $56,378 from the King County Flood Control District to help fund the Downey Farmstead Side Channel Restoration project to improve salmon habitat along the Green River.

The Flood District this week announced $4.6 million has been awarded to salmon habitat and recovery efforts across King County, according to a county news release.

“Salmon conservation is a priority for the King County Flood Control District,” said County Councilmember Reagan Dunn, chair of the Flood District. “This funding will provide support to help ensure that our salmon runs are healthy, and that we continue to conserve our environmental and cultural heritage.”

The King County Flood Control District Board of Supervisors, comprised of all nine King County Councilmembers, awarded the grants to the four Washington State Water Resource Inventory Areas (WRIA) inside King County. The WRIA include the Snoqualmie Watershed (Area 7), the Cedar and Sammamish Watersheds (Area 8), the Duwamish and Green Watersheds (Area 9), and the portion of the Puyallup and White Watersheds that are inside King County (Area 10).

Washington State Water Resource Inventory Areas are divided by the state Department of Ecology to help describe the state’s major watersheds

WRIA staff and committee members reviewed the projects for eligibility and visited project sites for a technical review. Each WRIA submitted its proposal for projects to receive funding of water quality and water resources and habitat restoration projects and activities.

Kent’s Downey Farmstead project will restore juvenile salmon habitat by constructing a side channel and reconnecting floodplain on the left bank of the Green River on property acquired by the city in 2008, according to WRIA documents.

When restoration is complete, side-channel rearing and refuge habitat will be available to juvenile salmon throughout most of the year, particularly juvenile Chinook salmon that inhabit the Green River.

Work started last year on the estimated $7 million project. The Downey Farmstead, formerly a tree nursery, is between the Green River and State Route 516, aka Kent Des Moines Road.

The city received $780,000 from the Flood District last year to help pay for the first phase of the project. The Flood District is funded by a countywide property tax levy.

A rendering of the Downey Farmstead salmon habitat restoration site. State Highway 516 is on the upper right. COURTESY GRAPHIC, City of Kent

A rendering of the Downey Farmstead salmon habitat restoration site. State Highway 516 is on the upper right. COURTESY GRAPHIC, City of Kent

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