Washington coast habitat efforts
Logging on the Coast increased the amount of sediment entering streams, harming salmon
The region, with many forests and few major cities, represents the last, best chance for the state to protect salmon and restore them to healthier levels. The region is still home to 50 percent of the state’s unlisted fish. The healthy, natural environment supports businesses that rely on the land and waters for logging, farming, fishing, and recreation. Salmon in the region are at historically low numbers, impacted by climate change affecting stream flow levels, historic logging roads depositing excessive sediment in streams, and invasive weeds choking riverbanks. Projects focus on increasing the resiliency of salmon.
Recent accomplishments include replacing fish-blocking culverts, opening dozens of miles of quality habitat; protecting hundreds of salmon habitat acres in coastal watersheds; reducing flood risk by reconnecting rivers to their floodplains; reintroducing large woody materials into the system. An escalation in restoration accomplishments in Coast rivers has occurred through the Washington Coast Restoration and Resiliency Initiative that puts citizens to work restoring the lands and waters they depend upon.
Too much fine sediment in a region of intense historic logging
The Department of Ecology finds that this region has the least extent of streams with high levels of human disturbance in the riparian zone and the most large wood placed in streams. Nevertheless, about two-thirds of the region’s salmon, trout, and steelhead streams contain too much fine sediment and most of the regions’ streams have low volumes of wood.
Too much fine sediment harms salmon by smothering fish eggs and changing the shape and route of the stream. The sediment also can carry copper or other chemicals that can be harmful to salmon if in high concentrations. A lack