The numbers of salmon in our waters has been on the decline. It is directly related to the health of our Puget Sound.
Why put so much energy into salmon recovery?
By focusing on salmon, we have the highest probability of protecting coastal ecosystems. Juvenile salmon use the entire river ecosystem and are extremely sensitive to changes in water quality, river flow, and temperature. They feed on freshwater invertebrates that are also indicators of water quality.
Generally, the more pristine, diverse and productive the freshwater ecosystem is, the healthier the salmon stocks. Declines in the capacity of a watershed to grow juvenile salmonids can indicate declining ecosystem health. – Wild Salmon Center
Partnerships to a sound Sound
The Environmental Science Center works with WRIA 8 – the Lake Washington/Cedar/Sammamish Watershed, and WRIA 9, the Green/Duwamish and Central Puget Sound Watershed, and other partner agencies to increase awareness of the importance of salmon restoration and their relation to the ecosystem. We are working to foster environmental stewards to join us in these efforts. For an overview of the watersheds and why partners are addressing salmon habitat on a watershed basis, view the watershed introduction pages of WRIA 8 and WRIA 9.
In these watersheds, citizens, scientists, businesses, conservation groups, and governments are working together to respond to the decline of salmon and the lands and waters on which the fish depend. Salmon Habitat Plans are created and implemented to protect and restore a healthy watershed ecosystem for both people and fish. Watershed salmon habitat recovery is part of the work of the Puget Sound Partnership and funding for coordination of salmon habitat recovery is provided by local governments in the watershed.
Our signature Salmon Heroes programs occur in both watersheds with students learning about their lifecycle, threats, and stewardship tips to aid these iconic species. This includes testing and reporting on water quality of their local water bodies. They also receive a pledge card with tips on how to take action and keep spreading helpful messages.
We encourage community members of all ages to assist in the survival of salmon through similar stormwater management practices and behavior changes. Clearing storm drains, picking up litter and dog waste, using local car washes, fixing leaking vehicles, carpooling, limiting electricity, and not using pesticides or flushing medications are all actions that help salmon. STREAMS are where these special fish start, so we use this acronym as a reminder of how to start and continue making a difference for salmon.
Check out more resources below, which include local salmon-viewing programs, indoor activities, sustainable seafood guidance, and live cams of salmon and other wildlife!