By Don Russell
On December 17, 2013 in a “breathtaking don’t confuse me with facts my mind is already made up” moment the Core Group comprised of representatives of the signatories of the 2011 Settlement Agreement approved a South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group (SPSSEG)/CalPortland (CP) consultants prepared Sequalitchew Creek Watershed Restoration Plan. The approved Plan is built on fiction rather than fact.
The Sequalitchew Creek Watershed Restoration Plan’s Vision is “… to restore flows and ecological conditions for native salmonid populations in the Sequalitchew Creek Basin.”
To realize this Vision SPSSEG/CP consultants maintain that surface water flow from Sequalitchew Lake through Edmond Marsh and down Sequalitchew Creek has to be increased. Since the mid 1950’s when the Sequalitchew Lake water level control weir, cross over culverts and diversion canal were constructed the flow has not been from Sequalitchew Lake into Edmond Marsh. Rather the flow has been from Edmond Marsh into Sequalitchew Lake. This is evidenced by a large dam at the east end of Edmond Marsh. This dam does not block water flow from Sequalitchew Lake into Edmond Marsh. Rather this dam blocks water from groundwater fed Edmond Marsh from flowing into a lower, level controlled Sequalitchew Lake. This dam should be left in place as should beaver dams in Bell, McKay and Hamer Marshes. However all beaver dams that block east to west flow within Edmond Marsh should be removed.
Native salmon populations inhabited Edmond Marsh up until the time that Fish and Wildlife personnel stopped removed beaver dam impediments to east to west groundwater flow through the Marsh. During the period of active beaver dam removal Edmond Marsh existed as: “…swampy marshes associated with the creek. Streambed material is mainly small gravel. The stream contains a fairly flat gradient above mile 1.5 with gentle flows through long glide-pool areas interspersed with short riffle sections” The groundwater fed gravel bed salmon spawning stream and associated wetlands in Edmond Marsh are now covered with several feet of stagnant polluted water and a layer of accumulated sediment as a result of beaver dam impoundment induced stagnation.
What now exists in Edmond Marsh is a series of separate, stagnant and polluted ponds characterized by having high dry season water temperatures, low dissolved oxygen, low pH, and high dissolve methane gas concentration. Beaver dam impounded water in West Edmond Marsh is further degraded as a result of its receiving discharge of dissolved iron laden groundwater which emanates from the railroad berm, and of polluted surface water runoff from Palisades Village. Solution: Just remove the beaver dams in Edmond Marsh!
The Core Group’s approved SPSSEG/CP consultant prepared Sequalitchew Creek Watershed Restoration Plan is based on fiction, not fact and should be deemed an unacceptable Restoration Plan by the citizens of the City of DuPont. Check out the details of the Restoration Plan you will be appalled at its complexity, schedule and cost.