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.
The Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group will use this grant to buy nearly 1 acre and develop and restore 5 acres of salmon habitat in the upper reaches of Sweetwater Creek, just east of State Route 3 near Belfair in Mason County. The salmon group will create a roughened stream channel to restore fish passage to .79 mile of the creek, bypassing a historic water wheel and its eight-foot spillway and an 8-foot-tall weir further upstream. The creek is used by fall Chum and Coho salmon. The near acre of land will connect more than 150 acres of public land and is next to 5 acres of protected North Mason School District property that will be redeveloped into a park. The revitalized park will feature the water wheel, a loop trail, a fishing dock, solar and hydropower learning stations, a natural area for playing, native plantings, parking, a restroom, and maintenance facility. The Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group will contribute $453,547 in equipment, federal and local grants, and donations of labor, land, and materials.