Estuary grants

The Skagit Land Trust owns Samish Island property that includes shoreline on both Padilla Bay (pictured) and Samish Bay.

Several fish-focused projects along Skagit County shorelines will get funding this year from the state’s Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program.

It was announced in a news release Tuesday that $15.7 million in grants will be awarded throughout the Puget Sound region.

The grant program is coordinated by the state Department of Fish & Wildlife in partnership with the state Recreation and Conservation Office. It supports projects intended to protect and restore natural shorelines, which in turn supports forage fish, salmon and Southern Resident orcas.

The projects are expected to “create shorelines that are more resilient to changing sea levels and climate conditions, and help restore and sustain important fisheries that are critical to the economies of coastal communities,” Fish & Wildlife’s Jay Krienitz said in the release.

Nine projects in Skagit County were included in this year’s grant package. They will get a combined $1.9 million. The projects are in various phases of planning, design and construction.

Skagit County projects set to receive funding include Fish & Wildlife’s Milltown Island restoration project, Skagit Land Trust’s acquisition and management of land at the entrance to Samish Island, the Swinomish tribe’s Smokehouse tidal marsh restoration project and Anacortes’ plans for the Tommy Thompson trestle over Fidalgo Bay.

The Leque Island and Florence Island projects in the Stillaguamish River delta in nearby Snohomish County will get a combined $1.2 million through the program.

— Reporter Kimberly Cauvel: 360-416-2199, kcauvel@skagitpublishing.com, Twitter: @Kimberly_SVH, Facebook.com/bykimberlycauvel

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