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Local non-profit, partners and volunteers continue important restoration work in Marysville


February 16, 2012

Qwuloolt marsh from City of Marysville trail at Harborview Park, November 2011 Photo by Sound Salmon Solutions

Sound Salmon Solutions, formerly known as Stilly-Snohomish Fisheries Enhancement Task Force, is working with Tulalip Tribes to plant 10 acres over the next 15 months at the Qwuloolt Estuary Restoration Project.

Coastal or estuarine wetlands such as the Qwuloolt Estuary Marsh are critical areas for salmon and other fish and wildlife, and for a productive coastal ecosystem. Estuarine wetlands filter and store pollutants from stormwater; play a key role in sediment transport and storage; and reduce flood impacts. These highly productive habitats provide spawning, rearing and foraging areas for fish and wildlife including endangered Chinook salmon. Salmon utilize the estuary twice during their life cycle as they migrate between fresh and salt water. Resident and migratory birds utilize estuarine wetlands for foraging, nesting and roosting. However, estuarine wetlands have been highly impacted by human use during the last 120 years. Within the Snohomish basin, only 17% of the historic Snohomish estuary remains today.

The Qwuloolt Estuary Restoration project is considered a high priority salmon recovery project at the local and regional level. The Qwuloolt marsh (Qwuloolt means "marsh" in the Lushootseed language) is adjacent to Ebey Slough and lies within the Snohomish River floodplain near Marysville. The project is led by Tulalip Tribes and supported by dozens of local, state and Federal project partners. According to Kurt Nelson of Tulalip Tribes and Josh Fitzpatrick of Army Corps of Engineers, the project is one of “the largest estuarine habitats to be restored in Puget Sound (second only to the Nisqually Delta)” and ranks among the top three estuarine restoration projects of regional significance. The Qwuloolt Project will contribute “one-quarter of the area needed to meet the 10 year salmon recovery targets” for the Snohomish River delta according to Tim Walls, Lead Entity Coordinator for Snohomish Basin Salmon Recovery Forum and Snohomish County Planner.

The 10 acre planting project coordinated by Sound Salmon Solutions is one component of the over 360-acre Qwuloolt Estuary Restoration Project, and presents an opportunity for local school groups and community volunteers to participate in this large-scale estuary restoration project. Sound Salmon Solutions expects to work with hundreds of volunteers and several local schools over the coming months to plant thousands of native trees and shrubs along the perimeter of the Qwuloolt Estuary Project. Planting will occur ahead of the planned levee breach and tidal inundation, and concurrent with setback levee construction and other construction activities by Tulalip Tribes. The perimeter planting will buffer tidal wave action and reduce erosion, provide shade and nutrients to the marsh, and serve as seed source for natural wetland vegetation succession.

Who: Sound Salmon Solutions, Partners and Volunteers

What: Tree Planting at Qwuloolt Estuary

When: Saturday, Feb. 18th, 2012

Where: Qwuloolt Estuary Marsh Restoration Project, Marysville, WA

For more information: Contact Kristin Marshall, Habitat Restoration Program Manager at 425-252-6686 or

Preparing the site for planting: blackberry removal, July 2011 Photo by Sound Salmon Solutions

To learn more about volunteer opportunities: Contact Michele Harmeling, Volunteer Coordinator at 425-319-7696 or

About Sound Salmon Solutions: Sound Salmon Solutions (formerly Stilly-Snohomish Fisheries Enhancement Task Force) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. Sound Salmon Solutions’ is to ensure the future of salmon in the Stillaguamish, Snohomish River basins, and Island County watersheds. Our projects and programs focus on salmon habitat restoration and protection, and public outreach and education. Our membership represents commercial, tribal, and recreational fishing interests, conservation organizations, the agricultural community, and area businesses. For more information, visit


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