Earth Day celebration at the Qwuloolt Estuary

Qwuloolt Estuary Restoration Project and earth Day Celebration

Article by Monica Brown

Ecologist Walter Rung demonstrates how to plant a native tree.
Photo by Monica Brown

TULALIP, Wash. – Community members chose to celebrate Earth Day on April 20th, by helping plant native trees and shrubs in the Qwuloolt Estuary located on the South end of Marysville. The Adopt a Stream Foundation (AASF) is guiding this portion of the project by planting the native trees and shrubs which have been made possible by a grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology through a $250,000 Allen Creek Grant. The main focus of the grant is  to work with and  inform nearby homeowners that live near the Allen Creek watershed about the restoration project. Walter Rung, Ecologist from the AASF says “We are going to door to door and talking to them about ways to help improve water quality in the creeks.”

A plastic shield is placed around the tree in order to help it thrive and prevent it from being cut down when the invasive species are removed from the area.
Photo by Monica Brown
A peek iside that the freshly planted tree.
Photo by Monica Brown

The expected outcome of  the restoration project is to raise the population of salmon, and migratory birds that inhabit the Qwuloolt Estuary and it’s tributaries. Planting native vegetation is one way of helping to improve water quality. CK Eidem from the AASF informs, “Today we’re putting in about 100 potted stalk and 100 live stakes; potted stalk are potted plants and live stakes are a cutting from a tree which will grow into a shrub if planted at the right time of year,”

Other environmental changes are being made such as improving natural channel formation  and eventually removing the tide gate. The tide gate is located just south of the storm water Treatment Facility and should be taken down within a year.

“We’re expecting once they remove the tide gate that there will be a lot more salmon in the creek,” said Walter Rung.

At the estuary project, informational booths and speakers informed people about how to protect the estuary and streams in the area by simple methods of not using toxic chemicals in their yards for weed control, disposing of pet droppings properly and regular maintenance their septic systems. Staff from Tulalip Tribes Natural Resources Department explained the stages and reason of the restoration project and provided delicious samples of Sitka Spruce tea and Nettle Tea.

Josh Meidav and Kelly Finley hosted The Tulalip Tribes booth.
Photo by Monica Brown

This project has been made possible through a large partnership between The Tulalip Tribes, City of Marysville, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, Sound Transit, Wash. Dept of Fish and Wildlife, Wash. State Recreation and Conservation Office, Natural Resources Conservation Services, Snohomish Basin Salmon Recovery Forum, Sound Salmon Solutions and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.