WOODINVILLE — Improving water quality, reducing erosion and filtering pollutants from runoff water to allow salmon to thrive in the Sammamish River is the mission of the Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group.
The nonprofit organization has been working with employees from Rub With Love and local volunteers to bring the goal to a reality.
“We’ve been working along the West Sammamish River Trail by 145th Street on the Sammamish River the past two years to restore the riverbank from a dense stand of invasive Himalayan blackberry to a healthy native buffer,” said Restoration Project Manager Ben Saari. “Soon we'll plant Douglas fir trees, Western red cedar, and big leaf maple to create shade for the river, improving water quality by cooling water temperatures, which is critical for salmon passing through the Sammamish River system each year.
“Warm water holds less oxygen, making it harder for adult and juvenile salmon to survive. More shade means cooler water and happier salmon. Having a diverse native habitat along the river will also filter pollutants from runoff and provide habitat for birds and pollinators, among many other benefits.”
The project is funded by the King County Wastewater Treatment Division through a WaterWorks grant with the goal to benefit water quality.
Saari and the group held a work party Oct. 26, and plan to return to the site Tuesday, January 14 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
“We provide all the training, tools and gloves and tasty snacks,” Saari said. “This is an all-ages event, though there is uneven footing.”