Salmon board funds projects

OLYMPIA - South Sound groups secured more than $4.7 million for 14 projects in the latest round of state Salmon Recovery Funding Board grants.

Statewide, $42.8 million in state and federal grants were awarded for projects to restore and protect salmon habitat.

“Salmon are an important part of Washington’s economy and culture,” said Steve Tharinger, a Clallam County commissioner and chairman of the 10-member funding board. “These grants are helping us reverse the decline in salmon populations we’ve seen over the past two decades.”

Some of the projects funded in Thurston and Mason counties include:

 • $1.7 million to the Skokomish tribe to restore 214 acres of the Skokomish River estuary. This was the largest grant awarded.

 • $450,000 for the state Parks and Recreation Commission to buy 112.4 acres of salmon habitat on Harstine Island originally slated for development of 15 waterfront homes. State parks contributed $2.6 million to the project.

 • $429,000 for the Mason Conservation District to work on a plan to reduce flood damage and improve salmon habitat in the Skokomish River Valley.

 • $400,000 to the Capitol Land Trust to acquire and protect a 20-acre estuary in Totten Inlet, including a quarter mile of undeveloped shoreline.

 • $334,992 for the Nisqually River Land Trust to permanently protect about 30 acres of shoreline along the Nisqually River near McKenna.

 • $323,000 to the Capitol Land Trust to restore salmon habitat on two adjoining properties — the city of Olympia’s Allison Springs property and an Eld Inlet site owned by the land trust.

The board has awarded more than $400 million to 1,307 projects since 2000.