The Green-Duwamish Watershed is a complex tapestry of diverse communities, cultures, eco-systems, land use, etc with new challenges as the region faces increased population growth and climate change. Tackling these challenges requires independant and reflective thinking while making connections in new ways.
In a collaborative effort of restoring salmon native habitat, especially the watershed’s threatened Chinook salmon population WIRA 9 is updating their plan to address new key findings about salmon habitat use and survival, high water temperatures and the likely impacts of climate change and how these will be incorporated into the existing plan.
WRIA 9 is a coalition of 17 local governments working in cooperation with businesses, environmental groups, and state and federal agencies to protect and restore salmon habitat in the Green/Duwamish and Central Puget Sound Watershed. The landmark science based WRIA 9 2005 Salmon Habitat Plan represents these partners’ deep commitment to recovery of the watershed’s threatened Chinook salmon population. The plan intended to guide prioritization and implementation of habitat protection and recovery actions for 10 years. The forthcoming Salmon Habitat Plan update reflects the watershed’s commitment to adaptively managing salmon recovery and improving ecological return on investment overtime
It All Flows Downstream: Exploring Restoration of Upland Watershed Health in the Upper Green’s National Forest Lands Jen Watkins, Conservation Northwest
A healthy watershed in central Puget Sound contributes sustainable drinking water, outdoor recreation opportunities, a myriad of other ecological services, and economic vitality to the urban communities of the Puget Sound. As our area experiences increased population growth and its environmental stresses along with the effects of a changing climate, these changes in the Upper Green affect the whole watershed which is “downstream”.
Multiple watershed groups have identified potential actions we can take to benefit fish and watershed function, while new analyses are helping us to understand how we can restore the patterns and functions of the vegetation. This presentation explores the need for restoration of the public lands in the Upper Green River for the benefit of the whole watershed and the ecological and social communities that depend upon it.
Green River Management Challenges of a Municipal Water Source Greg Volkhardt, Tacoma Water Utility
The Tacoma Water, municipal watershed covers 147,394 acres of the upper Green-Duwamish watershed with the Green River as the source of water for the regional partnership of the City of Kent, Covington Water District, Lakehaven Utility District and Tacoma Water. Tacoma Water manages the municipal watershed, its water supply and the additional benefits of protecting and enhancing ecosystems services that are enjoyed by everybody in the watershed and is facing challenges with instream flows, water conservation, improving fish and wildlife habitats, including solving fish passage challenges at the Howard Hanson Dam which will increase healthy salmon habitat.
Adaptive Management of Forest Lands for Source Water Protection Nikola Smith, US Forest Service
The US Forest Service is working with private sector and NGO partners to establish a ‘Municipal Utility Green Performance Bond for Source Water Protection’ with outcome-based environmental and financial performance measures. This partnership is an opportunity to highlight source water protection and watershed restoration as a critical link between healthy forests, economic growth, natural infrastructure, and human well-being. Even more so, it is an opportunity to pilot a new approach to securing funding for forest retention and management work that is so important to protect sources of municipal drinking water.