On the heels of a state grant package for recreation projects that included $2 million for work in Skagit County, another $4.2 million in state grants specific to salmon recovery projects in the county was announced Monday.
The 13 projects awarded funding include plans to restore tidal marsh along the Swinomish Channel, as well as restoration of segments of the Sauk River and local creeks and beaches.
The grants are part of a $45 million package awarded statewide.
The State Salmon Recovery Funding Board and Puget Sound Partnership award the grants, which focus on improving and conserving salmon habitat.
“Salmon are integral to the identity and traditions of the Pacific Northwest and are a vital part of the Puget Sound food web,” Puget Sound Partnership Executive Director Laura Blackmore said in a news release. “This funding will support projects that help recover salmon populations and feed our struggling Southern Resident orcas.”
The Southern Resident orcas are fish-eating whales that typically spend much of the year in the Salish Sea, pursuing their preferred food source: chinook salmon.
Each of the salmon recovery projects awarded funding in Skagit County in the recently-announced grant package states it will benefit chinook, which are threatened in the Puget Sound region of which the Skagit River is the largest source of fish and fresh water.
Many of the projects planned in Skagit County also state they will benefit steelhead trout. Some state they will also benefit coho salmon and forage fish.