Left to right: Alex Murillo, King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove, Melissa Dahl, Kent Mayor Dana Ralph, and Michael Mactutis. Photo courtesy King County Flood Control District.
The King County Flood Control District announced this week its commitment to salmon habitat projects along the Lower Green River by providing an additional $56,378 to the Downey Farmstead project.
Previously a tree nursery, the Downey Farmstead is a historic homestead site located between the Green River and state Route 516. This 22-acre lot will be reshaped into a network of side channels which will enhance habitat for juvenile salmon and increase flood storage in the Green River.
“This new funding package reaffirms the Flood Control District’s support for restoring the Lower Green River and demonstrates the power of partnerships in ensuring that our salmon have places to thrive,” said King County Flood Control District Vice Chair Dave Upthegrove.
The Flood Control District has been a significant funder of salmon habitat restoration though Cooperative Watershed Management grants, providing a grand total of $1.94 million to the Downey Farmstead Project since 2015. Other project partners include the City of Kent, Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office Salmon Recovery Funding Board, Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration, King County Waterworks Funds, and King Conservation District.
“This grant supports a critical project on the Green River to restore a healthy river for generations to come,” said Kent Mayor Dana Ralph. “Thank you, Flood District and WRIA for your continued support that will allow Kent to plant thicker buffers of native trees along the river which will cool the river, along with installation of vital side channels for endangered salmon in the Green, as well as creation of floodplain areas for the river to spread during flood flows.”
Phase II of the $7 million project is now complete with a relocated Frager Road and trail. Future phases will see the installation of large wood structures to improve fish habitat and the planting of thousands of native shrubs and trees to provide shade on the river.
The King County Flood Control District is a special purpose government created to provide funding and policy oversight for flood protection projects and programs in King County. The Flood Control District’s Board is composed of the members of the King County Council.