Department of Ecology News Release - March 31, 2014

14-052

Grants boost local environmental projects
$95,000 in Husseman awards target community ecological improvements

YAKIMA – Awards totaling $95,000 have been distributed for environmental projects that protect, restore and enhance shorelines and habitat in Central Washington.

Benefits will be felt in watersheds in Benton, Chelan, Kittitas, and Okanogan counties. Recipients will remove derelict vehicles on Nason Creek, restore fire damage on Clockum Creek, remove flow barriers on the Okanogan River, and install fencing to keep livestock out of Jack Creek. A xeric garden will help educate on low water use in Benton County.

Funds are disbursed from the Terry Husseman Account, created in memory of Terry Husseman, a former division director of state Department of Ecology, to honor his past contributions in the field of environmental management.

Each Ecology region in the state has its own account and funds come from payments of penalties issued for water quality violations of the Water Pollution Control Act made in that region. These awards are based on penalty payments in Ecology’s Central Region.

Applicants for full or partial funding are based on just a few criteria:

Watershed projects are considered as funds become available, and target those that are local and can be completed within a reasonable time and don’t necessarily qualify for other funding or are able to leverage other funds and volunteer support.

Terry Husseman’s last and most senior position in Ecology was as a division director for water management programs (quality, quantity and shorelands). He was known for his energy to negotiate strongly on behalf of environmental issues and for his dedication to bringing diverse interests to the table to find acceptable solutions. He passed away suddenly while still in office, and is missed by many of his former colleagues.

Grants from the THA are issued to eligible entities to support locally sponsored projects to restore or enhance the natural environment. Typical projects address water quality issues and fish and wildlife habitat protection or enhancement related needs.

WRIA: Water Resources Inventory Area

WRIA

Grant Sponsor

Project

Amount

Project Description

45

Chelan County Natural Resources Department

Nason Creek Upper White Pine Restoration

$10,041

This project will assist Chelan County in removing derelict cars and dilapidated structures in the floodway on land being purchased by the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust. This protected and restored floodway is important for water quality and in the protection of salmon habitat.

40

Cascadia Conservation District – Chelan County

Colockum Creek Restoration

$32,000

Colockum Creek near Wenatchee suffered a devastating wildfire in 2013 followed by multiple flood events causing bank instability and high sediment runoff. This project will address this issue along 150 feet of creek. Cascadia Conservation District will work with a landowner to slope the eroding bank, re-establish native riparian vegetation, remove invasive species, and replace livestock exclusion fencing that has been lost by bank undercutting.

49

Cascade Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group – Okanogan County

Okanogan River Weir and Concrete Structure Removal

$35,500

This project will remove a rock weir and concrete structure placed in the Okanogan River in the 1940-50s.The removal will restore natural flow regime and floodplain connectivity as well as increase the aesthetic value and boater safety of the area.

39

Mid-Columbia Fisheries  Enhancement Group – Kittitas County

Jack Creek Riparian Enhancement

$14,500

This project will complete ongoing work to restore ecological function in one reach of Jack Creek. Cattle access to the creek has reduced riparian vegetation and bank stabilization. Funds will be used to install more than 1,000 feet of fencing, as well as repair 2.2 miles of existing fencing. They will also enhance and maintain riparian plants installed earlier in 2012 and 2013.

37

Benton County Conservation District

Heritage Gardens

$2,959

Benton Conservation District will expand its existing low watering demonstration gardens by working with Master Gardeners to enhance an existing xeric garden in Kennewick's Grange Park. Funds will be used to increase biodiversity, add educational signage, address weeds, and increase public access. This project will help educate the public on low water use, native plant options for their landscaping.

Total awarded

$95,000

 

 

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Media Contact:

Joye Redfield-Wilder, communications, 509-575-2610; @ecyCentral