EPA awards almost $1 million to monitor Issaquah Creek, other streams

July 7, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 6 a.m. July 7, 2010

The federal government awarded almost $1 million to King County on Tuesday to monitor Issaquah Creek and other salmon-bearing streams.

The county intends to use the federal dollars to monitor up to 50 stream reaches in the Sammamish watershed, as well as 10 EPA sites. The watershed encompasses numerous streams — including Issaquah and Tibbetts creeks, as well as other smaller creeks draining to the east and west shores of Lake Sammamish.

The grant funds creek monitoring for the next four years. Scientists intend to examine the impact of growth on the watershed and determine how to best manage the waterways.

King County received $995,716 from the EPA to supplement the $335,933 the county has pledged to the project. The federal agency announced the recipients July 6.

EPA leaders characterized the local grant as part of a regional effort to improve water quality in Puget Sound.

“Puget Sound is our region’s icon,” Dennis McLerran, the regional EPA administrator in Seattle, said in a news release. “Every grant dollar we’re announcing today directly supports the goal of a healthy Puget Sound by 2020. We have a strong team working for progress we can all be proud of.”

The agency received more than 100 applications, and awarded almost $30 million to address industrial contamination, urban pollution and habitat loss in the sound.

The grants fund projects to remove invasive species from local watersheds, improve salmon migration and increase fish population, purchase ecologically sensitive habitat and educate Puget Sound-region residents about ways to reduce their environmental footprint.

“This funding helps us fulfill our commitment to environmental stewardship while expanding our partnerships across the Puget Sound region,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement. “By partnering with the EPA and other agencies, we are getting more accomplished for fewer taxpayer dollars.”

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