Stream & Wetland Restoration
If you have property that is riparian to a stream or wetland system and are interested in enhancing fish and wildlife habitat or addressing a flooding or erosion problem, contact us and we will conduct a site visit to analyze the situation. Then, data from that analysis will be used to develop a formal plan of action.
Generally plans developed are the mainstay of federal, state and local permits.
Our designs have resulted in the restoration of miles salmon and trout habitat and stream-side riparian zones (a riparian zone is the area of vegetation next to an aquatic system that affects the ecological function of that aquatic system).
Scientific Analysis & Habitat Assessment
Fish Barrier Assessment
Adopt A Stream Foundation (AASF) staff are trained in the use of the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife standardized procedures for identifying in-stream barriers to fish migration. During the last decade, we completed surveys stream systems tributary to the Sammamish and Snohomish River systems. During that survey, we located over 300 manmade barriers to salmon migration. Contact us if you would like an analysis of culverts or other manmade structures in your stream.
The term “water typing” stems from the Washington State Forest Practices Act that regulates commercial tree harvesting. Per that regulation, streams are categorized by the State as Type “S” (Shoreline as defined in 90.58.030 RCW); Type “F” (Fish known to be present); Type “Np” (Non-Fish Perennial); or Type “Ns” (Non-Fish Seasonal). Most local governments have adopted regulations establishing buffers between new development and streams…the size of that buffer is often related to the “water type” of that stream. In conjunction with Salmonid Habitat Assessments outlined below, AASF “water typed” eight watersheds. Fish traps, seines, and, on occasion, an electro-shocker are used by AASF Staff to determine the presence or absence of fish. All staff have Scientific Collector permits issued by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
Salmonid Habitat Assessment
As noted above, AASF completed salmonid (the group name for salmon, steelhead and trout) surveys in eight watersheds tributary to the Sammamish and Snohomish Rivers. Field data was collected using standard WDFW protocols. Trimble Global Positioning Systems were used to located survey sites, and data used to create detailed maps using ArcView software. Files were transfered to WDFW in an ACCESS data base.
Benthic Macro Invertebrate Analysis
Recently the Department of the Navy contracted with AASF to conduct benthic macro invertebrate surveys of several location at a radio station located on a tributary to the Stillaguamish River. AASF collected samples using standard quantitative analysis techniques. Resulting data provides the Navy with baseline information on the ecological health of the stream flowing through their site. That data was also transfered to the Puget Sound Stream Benthos website.
Since this work is not only interesting but fun as well, we couldn’t resist showing you a few pictures of Jim Creek…take a look.
Many of our projects planting native plants to restore stream and wetland riparian zones from degradation generally caused by poor land use practices. We have extensive experience monitoring and maintaing these sites.
Salmon Spawning Surveys
AASF staff have conducted comprehensive salmon spawning surveys for several agencies. We are very experienced at identifying species…and really enjoy this type of work!
Public Outreach & Education
Adopt A Stream Foundation (AASF) staff are experts at communicating complex natural resource issues with neophytes and experts. We have conducted presentations for a wide range of audiences ranging from community groups to city planning commissions and councils.-
For the last several years, we have been going “door to door” in eight urban/suburban watersheds to seek permission to conduct stream surveys. We have a 95% success rate with those we have contacted, and developed partnerships with many to correct fish and wildlife habitat degradation and/or non-point pollution problems in eight watersheds tributary to the Sammamish and Snohomish Rivers. Each of the hundreds of new partners have been provided stream and wetland ecology “basic training.”
That one-on-one effort has evolved into watershed-wide enterprises. AASF was responsible for developing a community based watershed management plan for Bertrand Creek. No small task as the headwaters of this Nooksack River tributary flows from the urban community of Aldergrove in British Columbia, Canada through the farming community of Lynden WA. AASF was able to link the Langely Environmental Partners Society and the Bertrand Enhancement Committee of Aldergrove and knit together a communications network with community leaders from Lynden to creatre joint watershed management action plan.
AASF was also able to link the Walla Walla Basin Council, Milton Freewater (OR) schools, and local cattlemen and farmers together…an unlikely alliance geared to reduce water pollution and restore fish to the Couse Creek tributary of the Walla Walla River.
Staff from AASF have hosted major conferences on stream restoration and environment education and presented at national and international events. However, we are probably better know for conducting Adopt A Stream and Streamkeeper Field Training workshops for audiences in WA, OR, ID, MT, NV, CA, and British Columbia Canada. The product is thousands of volunteers trained how to teach others to conduct a watershed inventory and to monitor the physical, biological, and chemical characteristics of streams.
“Sammy the Salmon, “ who you met at the Site Directory, also migrates from the Northwest Stream Center to perform Salmon Fashion Show and Adopt A Stream Challenge assembly programs for schools and community groups…and occasional performances for city council and planning commission meetings.
Permitting and Permit Compliance
In advance of doing any stream or wetland restoration projects it is necessary to have your project well designed. In addition, each project may require permits from federal, state, or local governments.
One of the roles that Adopt A Stream Foundation plays is to help private and public landowners navigate the complex world of permits and approvals associated with streams and wetlands.
While we are experienced in many aspects of environmental permitting we specialize in:
•Federal Biological Assessments and Evaluations (BA’s and BE’s)required by the US Corps of Engineers, Environmental Protection Agency, and Fish and Wildlife Service
•Fish Enhancement Hydraulic Permit Applications (HPA) required by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife
•State Environmental Policy Applications (SEPA) required by most local governments
In addition to navigating you through the permit process, we are adept at assisting you with compliance of existing permits. Many of our clients count on our expert de-watering and fish removal services to comply with their in-stream construction project permits.