Bainbridge Island, Wash., (August 22, 2023) –The City of Bainbridge Island was awarded $2.568 Million in funds by the Department of Transportation (DOT) as part of the National Culvert Removal, Replacement, and Restoration Grant Program to revitalize the Springbrook Creek fish passage. The grant program is designed specifically to help communities remove and repair culverts that block salmon from their natural habitats.
Bainbridge Island’s grant is part of a larger $58 Million grant awarding twenty-three Salmon Restoration Projects in Washington State. Funding will pay to remove culverts that block salmon from habitat in Chelan, Clallam, Grays Harbor, King, Kitsap, Lewis, Pierce, Skamania, Thurston, and Whatcom counties.
Springbrook Creek is designated as critical habitat for Endangered Species Act listed threatened Puget Sound steelhead. The project was identified as the number one priority restoration project in its watershed as part of a 2018 assessment. The Springbrook Creek culvert is located on Fletcher Bay Road east of the transition of New Brooklyn Road to Fletcher Bay Road.
The Bainbridge Island Land Trust was instrumental in crafting the grant application package, which included letters of support from the Wild Fish Conservancy, Bainbridge Island Watershed Council, the Suquamish Tribe, and Rep. Derek Kilmer. Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group got the funding off the ground by sponsoring the original design grant.
The federal grant funding received will support additional design and provide significant leverage towards securing the balance of funds needed for construction to eventually remove a 60-inch failing culvert and weir and replace it with a 60-foot bridge.
“This is a critical step in the recovery of important ecosystems to boost salmon return,” said Mayor, Brenda Fantroy-Johnson.
“We are thrilled to receive this grant money,” said City Manager, Blair King. “The Springbrook Creek project will help revitalize an important part of Bainbridge Island’s watershed and salmon habitat. Identification of funds for this project has been a concern and an impediment to implementation. This grant will help move the project to the next level.”
City staff are currently proceeding towards a preliminary design
Statement from Senator Maria Cantwell:
“Washingtonians are going to see more salmon coming back to rivers all across the Evergreen state. The 23 projects funded by this historic first round of National Culvert Grant awards will restore miles of salmon and steelhead habitat, helping revitalize communities that depend on these iconic fish for their livelihoods, recreation, and Treaty rights,” said Sen. Cantwell. “Projects range from opening up streams below aging rail infrastructure along Puget Sound, to building new bridges in Skamania County and on Bainbridge Island, to creating new estuary habitats in Bellingham and Port Orchard. Combined, these investments will help revitalize critical watersheds that Chinook, coho, chum, and steelhead rely on, and boost the ecosystems and orcas that depend on robust salmon returns.”
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