SPOKANE -- Eight streams will be healthier, easier on the eye and more hospitable to fish and wildlife, thanks to more than $117,000 granted to seven counties or conservation districts in Eastern Washington.
The Department of Ecology is distributing the money to restore stream banks, replant native vegetation and reduce cattle access to lakes and streams.
The grant money, available to local and state government entities and tribes for projects that improve water quality, comes from the state’s Coastal Protection Fund.
“These grants represent a great opportunity for enhancing and maintaining biodiversity by restoring streams, rivers and lakes to a healthier condition,” said René-Marc Mangin, who manages Ecology’s Spokane office. “Sometimes a complete job will take more money than we have, but our hope is that this provides a meaningful boost for water quality.”
To qualify for a grant, each project had to meet certain criteria, such as coordinating with other water-quality activities already under way. Applicants had to show that results would be seen in a reasonable amount of time.
Grants went to Adams County Conservation District, Ferry County Chamber of Commerce, Lincoln County Conservation District, Pomeroy Conservation District, Spokane County Conservation District, Stevens County Conservation District and Walla Walla County.
Twelve entities requested a total $226,610.
The Adams County Conservation District is receiving $22,000 to enhance and restore the habitat and vegetation along two miles of Cow Creek near Sprague Lake. The money will be used to create buffers along each side of the creek to protect soil and water, reduce flood damage and help keep the water cool.
The Ferry County Chamber of Commerce will receive $1,200 to restore the stream bank along about a quarter-mile of Curlew Creek by planting the native cottonwood forest that once protected the soil, provided wildlife habitat and shaded the water to keep it cool.
The Lincoln County Conservation District will use $5,000 to restore and protect about 150 feet of exposed stream bank along Hawk Creek, five miles south of where the Spokane River and Lake Roosevelt meet. The work will improve water quality by preventing further stream-bank erosion.
The Pomeroy Conservation District is receiving $17,000 to pay for extensive stream-bank restoration along Deadman Creek in Garfield County. Buffers of protective native vegetation will be created to prevent bank erosion and filter polluted runoff, keep the water cool by shading the stream, and creating fish and wildlife habitat. Deadman Creek is habitat to Snake River steelhead, listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act.
The Spokane County Conservation District will receive $28,000 to replace culverts and restore the stream bank along California Creek, a tributary of Latah Creek. The current culverts are causing erosion and blocking fish from passing downstream.
The Stevens County Conservation District will receive $15,000 to build a wintertime feeding area for cattle at the Oman cattle farm. Moving the operation away from the Colville River will reduce the amount of bacteria-laden manure that enters the river from this location.
The Stevens County Conservation District will also receive $14,000 to reduce cattle access to an area along the Little Pend Oreille River, which also is a source of fecal coliform bacteria in the Colville River system. The landowners will use the fencing to protect about 140 acres of wetlands and streams.
Walla Walla County will receive $15,000 to restore nearly 900 feet of Garrison Creek at Fort Walla Walla Park. Grant money from the same program paid to restore 1,000 feet of the stream bank last year.
$117,000 Goes to Restore Stream Banks
Capital Press, July 30, 2004
See what you can learn
learn more on topics covered in the film
see the video
read the script
learn the songs