Thank you to all who joined us for the work party!
Over 80 community members of all ages came together on Saturday, November 10th to participate in the inaugural Puget Sound Orca Recovery Day. Whatcom CD was proud to partner with Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association and Whatcom Land Trust to organize the work party at Butler Creek, a salmon-bearing waterway near Lake Terrell.
The concern over the health of local salmon populations, especially the Chinook species and their impacts on resident orcas built momentum behind this community event. Salmon make up 80% of the orca diet, and because of loss of habitat and increasing pollution, local salmon populations have been threatened. Salmon require cool, clean, and clear water to thrive; by planting native vegetation, these habitat requirements are improved.
The Whatcom County salmon recovery work party was a huge success with beautiful, sunny weather and over 500 native trees planted. The native trees alongside the creek will increase forage for fish, protect water quality, and create shade to maintain cool water temperatures. We can’t wait to see this habitat grow!
Whatcom CD was one of eleven Puget Sound Conservation Districts that hosted a local event on the 10th to improve habitat and bring attention to the value each individual action, even miles upstream, has in protecting our Southern Resident Orcas. Whatcom CD has been improving habitat for salmon through a variety of programs and actions. Through our Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), 218 miles of stream bank have been protected and 1,720,000 trees and shrubs have been planted since 2001. Additionally, Whatcom CD and partners have been dedicated to removing fish passage barriers on salmon bearing stream, replacing 54 culverts in the last few years.
Volunteering on a local habitat restoration project, such as the one on Butler Creek is one of ten actions Better Ground recommends to help restore the orca whale population. For more information on the ten actions and ways you can make a difference visit: https://www.betterground.org/about/puget-sound-orca-recovery-day/actions-you-can-take/.
To learn more about Whatcom CD habitat programs and ways the CD can support your restoration goals visit: https://whatcomcd.org/habitat