News

Urban salmon projects face 'bias'

By ERICA HALL

The Mirror

The Salmon Recovery Funding (SRF) Board recently announced grant allocations to several Washington counties’ salmon habitat conservation projects across the state. While King County received the highest amount –– $3.6 million for seven projects –– little of it will find its way to urban south King County and none of it will come into Federal Way.

Friends of the Hylebos Wetlands executive director Chris Carrel said his Federal Way-based group, a volunteer non-profit organization dedicated to caring for the Hylebos Creek system and wetlands, didn’t even bother to apply for funding this year after its application for salmon habitat restoration funding was removed from the list in 2003.

“We have gone through a very painful process to qualify for SRF Board funding, and we’ve been rebuffed rudely,” he said.

This year, the board asked applicants to include strategic planning in their submittals to ensure the projects for which they requested funding met the vision of their strategic plans. The board awarded grants for 103 projects, including 53 for habitat improvements, 16 for purchasing land for salmon habitat, 26 for studies and plans and eight that combined habitat acquisition, improvements or studies.

In King County, the $3.6 million went to projects on the Cedar River east of Renton, on the Rainier Beach shoreline in Seattle, at Seahurst Park in Burien, at Quartermaster Harbor on Maury Island, at Newaukum Creek, at Boise Creek near Buckley, and at the Tolt River. Grants ranged from $26,000 to more than $1 million.

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