Conserving land along our waterways protects important habitat and helps keep our rivers healthy, clean, and more resilient to drought. Riparian Protection projects conserve and restore fresh and saltwater habitat while protecting fish habitat. In doing so, the grants help provide our families, farms, and fisheries with clean water across the state.
Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) will use this grant to purchase property on the Upper Royal Arch Reach of the Cedar River, located just north of the Town of Maple Valley. The proposed project will acquire 20 acres of floodplain with 720 feet of river frontage for future restoration of natural riverine processes. SPU has been working to protect and restore Royal Arch Reach to improve habitat for Chinook and other salmon and trout species, targeting the lack of refuge and rearing habitat for juvenile Chinook in the mainstem Cedar River. If funding for acquisition is secured, future restoration would include removing all prior remnants of development and all bank armoring structures. Restoration activities will entail creating an extensive network of primary, secondary, and tertiary side channels with continuous annual flow connected to the main river channel. Additional restoration would also include placing abundant large wood in the mainstem and side-channel areas which would provide continuous off-channel fish habitat access, create an extensive riparian wetland area, improve hydrologic floodplain connectivity and revegetate all riparian and upland areas with native plants across the project footprint.