Stories for WRIA 3*: Lower Skagit-Samish


Water Quality stories support the Water Quality Program's five Program activities. Some stories may fall under more than one category, and are listed accordingly.

Improving Water Quality in the Samish: Getting the manure out of streams and shellfish beds
With help from involved citizens and motivated local officials, combined with an Ecology water quality monitoring project, Ecology discovered two agriculture-related sources of fecal coliform bacteria pollution to Samish Bay. Ecology and the Department of Agriculture worked with the operators to remove the sources and use best management practices which will help clean up the bay.
(Clean-up water pollution; Prevent and reduce point and stormwater pollution)

Lake Ketchum: An Innovative Approach to Address Lake Pollution
Lake Ketchum is a small lake in Snohomish County. It historically served as a drinking water supply for the nearby city of Stanwood. The lake has experienced increasingly toxic algal blooms primarily due to uncontrolled sources of pollution entering the lake from a nearby farm and from phosphorus buildup in lake sediments. The Snohomish Surface Water Management, through funding from various sources and educating the public on best management practices, is working to control pollution going into the lake.
(Clean-up water pollution; Prevent and reduce point and stormwater pollution)

Skagit County On-Site Programs: Financial Assistance Leads to Pollution Reduction
With funding assistance from Ecology, Skagit County is educating property owners on septic system maintenance, encouraging regular septic system inspections, and providing low interest loans so property owners can repair or replace failing systems.
(Clean-up water pollution; Provide excellent technical and financial assistance)

Wheel-of-Water turns heads toward terrific new behaviors to protect aquatic treasures
Ecology found a way to compete for attention at fairs and other events while getting our water quality message across in a fun and entertaining way. A very impressive 30-inch "Wheel-of-Fortune"-type device engages people using a solid and attractive spinning wheel that could be safely manipulated by even small children, and brightly colored graphics from Water Quality′s series of light-hearted graphics from the "Washington Waters – Ours to Protect."
(Reduce Nonpoint Source Pollution)

Why Does Hansen Creek look like Normandy Beach?
Skagit County and the Upper Skagit Indian Tribe worked together to restore natural processes to a large alluvial fan in Hansen Creek. Previous modification of the creek attempted to control sediment deposition by straightening and periodically dredging the creek. Ecology assisted local governments to remove this significant problem for farmers and fish by helping them reconstruct the natural features of the Hansen Creek alluvial fan and letting the creek do what comes naturally.
(Clean-up water pollution; Provide excellent technical and financial assistance)


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* The Department of Ecology and other state resource agencies frequently use a system of "Watershed Resource Inventory Areas" or "WRIAs" to refer to the state's major watershed basins.


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Last updated May 2015