The Chehalis Basin Lead Entity has issued a call for project proposals that would benefit salmon habitat within the great Chehalis River Basin. Select projects could qualify for the state’s Salmon Recovery Funding Board budget in 2020.

“Would you like to see thriving salmon populations in your local rivers and streams? Do you have an idea for a salmon habitat restoration project in your community?” asked a press release from the Chehalis Basin Lead Entity.

Salmon habitat includes the actual waterways within the basin along with the riparian areas immediately adjacent to creeks, streams, and river channels.

The release noted that applicable projects could include planting native trees and shrubs near stream banks or reconnecting side channels with the mainstem of the Chehalis River or one of its tributaries. Other improvements could include efforts such as anchoring tree trunks and root balls in creeks in order to provide shelter and slack water pools, or removing invasive plant species, such as knotweed, from areas adjacent to waterways. Proactive actions, such as protecting lands that possess key habitat characteristics, may also apply.

The most common restorative efforts enacted throughout the Chehalis Basin in recent memory has been in regard to fish passage barrier, particularly culverts. Many culverts are undersized and poorly constructed so that they restrict fish passage. Those flaws prevent adult salmon from accessing critical spawning grounds and stop juvenile salmon from safely navigating to feeding areas.

Projects must request a minimum of $5,000 in funding. There is no official maximum cap on funding requests but the total funding available for the Chehalis River Basin is about $600,000. Successful applications must be backed by matching funds that equal at least 15 percent of the total project cost.

Applicants must submit a project form to the Chehalis Basin Lead Entity by January 27, 2020. Questions should be directed to Lead Entity Coordinator, Kirsten Harma, at kharma@chehalistribe.org. 

Additional information regarding the application process and project stipulations can be found online at www.chehalisleadentity.org.

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