Press Release for ReSources - Funding for Fish Friendly Culverts

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Date:  February 18, 2014

Funding for Fish Friendly Culverts – A Community Meeting

March 19, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, at Tenmile Elementary School, 960 E Hemmi Road, Everson.

Bellingham, WA – February 19, 2014 – The public is invited to attend a public meeting sponsored by the Tenmile Creek Clean Water Project Stakeholder Committee.  The mission of this volunteer, citizen-guided project is to set a path forward to reduce fecal coliform levels so they are below water quality standards and the standards of the Lower Nooksack River Basin Bacteria Total Maximum Daily Load Evaluation (TMDL), and remain low.  RE Sources’ North Sound Baykeeper program is coordinating this effort.

Funding is available to replace undersized or damaged culverts that are fish passage barriers with appropriately sized culverts or bridges in the Tenmile Watershed (Tenmile, Fourmile, and Deer Creeks). The funding comes from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).  According to a recent survey by the WDFW, there are approximately 120 culverts and crossings on private lands in the Tenmile watershed that may qualify for this funding.  Eligible projects will be completed with no cost or obligation to landowners.

There are many benefits of replacing undersized culverts and crossings with appropriately sized culverts and bridges.  Undersized culverts retain water in farm fields for a long time period, so replacing them with larger culverts or bridges offers improved drainage.  Promoting drainage from farm fields also helps improve water quality, especially when drainage is free from sediment and nutrients.  Replacing undersized or damaged culverts has the potential of opening up new spawning and rearing habitat for salmon and other aquatic life.

Speakers from the Whatcom Conservation District and WDFW will offer information about this special program, and will answer questions after the presentations.  The public is invited and encouraged to attend this meeting as well as ongoing meetings of the Tenmile Clean Water Project.  All materials presented or produced for this project are available on the RE Sources website here:  https://sites.google.com/a/re-sources.org/main-2/tenmile-creek

The North Sound Baykeeper Team is charged with protecting and enhancing the marine and nearshore habitats of the northern Puget Sound region.  The Baykeeper is a program of RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting sustainable communities through recycling, education, advocacy, and the conservation of natural resources.

Contact: Lee First, RE Sources, leef@re-sources.org, 360 733 8307.

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