Landowners living along Washington state’s Dungeness River are working with restoration crews to improve the health of the river and its inhabiting species.
Jack Janis is one of 60 residents with property on the river that has allowed a team involved in a Dungeness Repair and Recovery Project to take out invasive species of shrubs or trees and replace them with native plants.
“It’s beautiful, this is what Sequim was 150 years ago,” Janis said of the restoration work the crew did on his property.
Nearby, the 3 Crabs Nearshore and Estuarine Restoration Project will remove infrastructure, fill and armoring at the site of the former 3 Crabs Restaurant. This project will restore historic landforms and improve public access at a newly established WDFW Wildlife Area along Dungeness Bay and Meadowbrook Creek.
Meadowbrook Creek is the last freshwater tributary to the Dungeness River and provides essential rearing habitat for outmigrating Dungeness River salmon. The Dungeness estuary and Dungeness Bay is categorized as a site that supports an average of 7,500 waterfowl (up to 13,000) during migration and winter.
Estuarine and wetland habitat restoration will benefit high concentrations of waterfowl by improving access to varied habitat types. This project will improve the ecological function of over 40 acres of coastal wetlands and will restore ½ mile of stream channel.
“It’s really been wonderful engaging landowners in the river,” Doyle said. “It’s been wonderful to hear their stories and connect them with the restoration work helping them feel like they can make a difference.”
The crew will continuously work with the landowners over time to help them maintain their property. It will continue to visit the site to check on the plants and replace any dead ones with new ones and help with site maintenance.
“The attitude of these people, they want to do well,” Jack Janis said of the crew’s efforts. “There’s a future for America when I sees jobs like this.”
The North Olympic Salmon Coalition (NOSC) is a community-based non-profit organization that works with willing landowners and volunteers to perform salmon habitat restoration on the North Olympic Peninsula. NOSC is one of fourteen Regional Fisheries Enhancement Groups in Washington State dedicated to salmon recovery.