Officials breach levee to open wetlands to salmon recovery



EVERETT — Bulldozers have removed about 1,500 linear feet of a levee in the Snohomish River Estuary in order to reopen 350 acres of historic wetlands to threaten salmon.

The Tulalip Tribes and officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries division say the breach was part of the largest restoration projects so far in the Snohomish watershed.

A system of levees cut off and drained the Qwuloolt Estuary from the rest of the Snohomish system in the early 1900s. That turned the area into farmland.

Today, it’s no longer viable as farmland so the tribe and federal officials spearheaded its restoration to support recovery of wild Chinook salmon and other wildlife.

The area is a key habitat for one of the largest remaining populations of wild Puget Sound Chinook salmon.