Habitat restoration takes many forms and shapes depending on the type of habitat desired and the limitations on the current use of the land or water. Restoring particular functions, like salmon spawning habitat, may not fully restore a site to its former state, but adds ecological benefits that may be in short supply.
Removing Fish blocking culverts
One of the biggest problems for restoring salmon populations is blockages caused by culverts under roadways. These can be on private driveways, local roads or highways. Currently, Island County is prioritizing culverts that are failing with those that are blocking salmon passage. If you have a culvert that may be a problem, there may be funds available to help replace or remove the culvert – ask us!
Restoring streamside vegetation
Salmon and other fresh water fish need cool, clean water. Our forest ecosystems typically kept streams shaded, and protected a constant water supply throughout the year that was free of sediment. Restoring shading and root structures along stream edges helps maintain the integrity of a stream. Many of our projects have focused on replanting to lower temperatures, and provide overhead protection from predators.
Wetlands are one of our most endangered habitats, and this is why there are protections for this ecosystem type. Wetlands provide critical functions from providing aquatic habitats for fish and amphibians, to storage of water to get through dry months. Wetland edges and buffers are productive habitats and provide the structure of trees and brush for the wildlife using the wet areas. There are many techniques to improve or restore wetland function, and they all start with hydrology, but include vegetation and the right soils. Below we are removing drainage tile from an abandoned farm field. The underground pipes once kept the field dry by moving the water away from the wetland soils. See the full report for the Glendale Headwaters Watershed here.