Dedicated volunteers in our region’s Miller-Walker Basin made significant strides in protecting and restoring local waterways and marine life in 2023, according to officials.
Through their efforts, the basin is now a healthier habitat for salmon and a more enjoyable place for people to live and recreate.
One of the most important contributions of volunteers was conducting salmon surveys from October to December, 2023. By counting both live fish and dissecting carcasses, they were able to gather valuable data on salmon returns and spawning success. This information is crucial for understanding the health of the watershed and the impact of pollution on salmon populations.
In addition to salmon monitoring, volunteers also played a vital role in maintaining and improving the health of the riparian zone, the area along the banks of the creeks.
They removed invasive plants such as English ivy and Himalayan blackberry, which can crowd out native vegetation and harm salmon habitat.
They also planted native trees, shrubs, and groundcovers, which help to stabilize stream banks, provide shade for fish, and filter pollutants from runoff.
Overall, volunteers contributed to over 9,000 square feet of streamside restoration and planted more than 113 native plants in 2023. Their efforts were essential for improving the overall health of the Miller-Walker Basin and creating a more welcoming environment for salmon and other wildlife.
How to Help
If you are interested in getting involved in protecting the Miller-Walker Basin, there are many opportunities to volunteer. You can sign up to receive basin stewardship tips and volunteer opportunities by visiting www.kingcounty.gov/miller-walker and entering your email address.
By the Numbers
Here are some of the key accomplishments by volunteers in the Miller-Walker Basin in 2023:
- 100+ salmon! Volunteers surveyed Miller and Walker Creeks from October to December to count salmon returns. In 2023, we saw 117 live fish in the creeks and dissected 57 fish carcasses to find out whether they were able to spawn before dying.
- Maintained 9,000 square feet of streamside restoration.
- Planted 113 native trees, shrubs, and groundcovers.
- Recruited 99 people to volunteer for various tasks.
These numbers represent a significant contribution to the health of the Miller-Walker Basin and the well-being of the community. Thanks to the dedication of volunteers, the basin is now a better place for salmon and people alike.
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