Smith Island restoration project a huge win for water quality
People and salmon alike will benefit from a new project to protect Smith Island outside of Everett.
The Recreation and Conservation Office recently announced that the restoration of the Smith Island estuary would receive a grant from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program. This estuary is part of the Snohomish River system, which provides the second largest volume of freshwater entering Puget Sound from a single source.
“This project will provide immense benefits, restoring salmon habitat and protecting our water quality for the next generation,” said Senator John McCoy (D-Tulalip) . “The WWRP is a critical investment in our outdoors that is essential to preserving our quality of life.”
This single project represents nearly 5% of the entire Puget Sound Ecosystem Recovery estuary restoration target for 2020.
The local match combined with more than $15 million in federal and state grants from the Salmon Recovery Funding Board, the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board, and RCO brings the total funding amount to $16,001,958.
In addition to protecting water quality, the restoration of the Smith Island estuary will also provide new recreation access. Visitors will be able to witness wildlife in a rich tidal marsh habitat minutes from Everett’s urban core.
“Two thirds of WWRP projects protect or restore Puget Sound. This level of success would not be possible without dedicated legislators like Senator McCoy,” said Joanna Grist, executive director of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition. “Smith Island is a prime example of how we can increase access to the outdoors while preserving the purity of our natural treasures.”