Chuckanut Village Marsh Environmental Analysis

Evaluate the potential effects of removing a culvert connecting the estuarine marsh with the marine shoreline with the ultimate goal of improving fish habitat while maintaining public access

A first step in this project was to characterize the wetland at the head of the bay and evaluate possible restorative actions to the nearshore environment. The project involved a field delineation of habitats within the marsh based on vegetation, salinity, and hydrology gradients and a survey of habitat boundaries and elevations. NES used the data from these tasks to complete a feasibility analysis.

The project team included Northwest Ecological Services as the primary ecologist with support from a coastal geomorphologist, fisheries biologist, and survey team.

project outcomes

  • The data collection and feasibility analysis by NES set up the resulting restoration project which enhanced hydrologic connectivity between backshore wetland and the marine environment and removed a potential source of pollution into this sensitive marine environment.
  • Post project monitoring indicates that juvenile salmon are using the tidal creek at a higher frequency than was measured in the year prior to culvert replacement.

NES advantage

  • Local knowledge of this unique area facilitated work with local authorities, the project team, and agencies.