Comments sought on plan to protect coastal salmon runs


A federally-funded salmon recovery group has released a draft of what it calls the Washington Coast Sustainable Salmon Plan and is seeking public comment on the plan.

The Washington Coast Sustainable Salmon Partnership, which has an office in Ocean Shores, was formed in 2008, one of seven, regionally-based salmon recovery organizations in Washington, and the only one with the primary purpose of preventing listings of salmon under the Endangered Species Act rather than recovering those already listed.

The group says its regional approach focuses not on one species, but on whole systems to maintain habitat functions and species that support sustainable salmon populations.

The goal of the plan, says the Washington Coast Sustainable Salmon Partnership, is to ensure that all the state’s watersheds that drain to the Pacific Ocean contain healthy, diverse and self-sustaining populations of salmon. “These fish will be supported by healthy habitats and ecosystems, which also support the ecological, cultural, social, and economies of human communities,” says a nevws release from the group.

To read the plan and offer your thoughts, visit their website: http://www.wcssp.org/. Groups interested in a short presentation about the Plan and WCSSP, and the opportunity to comment, please call or email (360) 289-2499 or danajd@wcssp.org.

“The Washington Coast Region is the last best chance to get it right,” according to Sustainable Partnership Executive Director, Miles Batchelder. “We still have the wildlife and fish and we still have the watersheds. What we’ve needed is a roadmap to get us moving in the right direction. This plan starts that journey.”

“Many challenges lie ahead from climate change, invasive species, and decreasing funding which this plan takes on directly. In addition it addresses the historical causes of declining salmon populations such as habitat loss and destruction. This plan combines real, on-the-ground restoration actions with strategic outreach that will help demonstrate that what is good for salmon is also good for our economy and coastal communities,” said Batchelder.

The Washington Coast Sustainable Salmon Partnership is a coalition of four local watershed -based groups known as Lead Entities for Salmon Recovery. Each is made up of a citizen committee and a technical committee, have their own unique strategy for salmon habitat restoration and sustainability, appropriate for their particular watershed. Counties (Clallam, Jefferson, Grays Harbor, Pacific, Thurston, Mason, and Lewis), tribes (Makah, Quileute, Hoh, Quinault, Chehalis and Shoalwater Bay), cities, ports, state agencies, non-profit groups, and concerned citizens are involved in the region through their local Lead Entity Group. For more information or to get involved call WCSSP at (360) 289-2499.