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Student Research Spotlight: State of Possession Sound

By Sophia DiCarlo, Digital Content Writer/Editor, foundry10 

On June 8, first- and second-year Ocean Research College Academy (ORCA) students gathered with their classmates and families at Everett Community College’s Waterfront Center to present their research as a part of the eleventh annual Possession Sound Student Showcase and Talks (PSSST)

ORCA is an innovative early college academy where students can earn up to two years of college credit while completing their high school graduation requirements. Most ORCA students graduate with an associate degree in addition to a high school diploma from their sponsoring high school. foundry10 is proud to partner with ORCA and support student-led research projects. 

The well-attended event included two poster presentation sessions and three oral presentation panels focused on research questions related to the greater Possession Sound area. ORCA founder and educator Ardi Kveven shared that the goal of this event is to give students the opportunity to explore this region and what interests them about it while also gaining comfort working with data and presenting their research to a larger audience.

ORCA students also have the opportunity to present this research at other scientific conferences, including the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference, UW Undergraduate Research Symposium, and Puget Sound Environmental Monitoring Program

The poster presentation sessions included first-year students sharing research questions guided by their curriculum and data they used from ORCA’s State of Possession Sound (SOPS) project. Their presentation topics ranged from water temperature, salinity, and chlorophyll values to plankton presence and abundance over time and in different locations in Possession Sound.

Elise Foot Puchalski

First-year students gave two- to three-minute summaries of their projects to attendees. They eagerly answered any follow-up questions and shared real-world applications sourced from their data, such as tracing the impacts of increased algae blooms on the food chain. 

The oral presentations were given by second-year ORCA students who ask and investigate their own original research questions. Each student gave a five-minute presentation sharing the inspiration for their project, how they collected their research, and what they learned from the process. Students’ Possession Sound projects covered topics including water chemistry, currents, underwater noise, biology, and more. 

Abby Searle

Abby Searle 

Second-year student Abby Searle presented about seasonal diet shifts in river otters at the mouth of the Snohomish River. This project required Abby to routinely collect and analyze otter scat to better understand what their diets were composed of. She was surprised to find a larger percentage of crustaceans in the diet samples, as opposed to a dominant source fish as she originally expected. There were even a couple weeks where Styrofoam made an appearance in the samples she collected. 

After her sample collection and analysis were completed, Abby shared that preparing for this presentation allowed her to gain confidence in her public speaking skills. “It’s definitely something that I can carry along with me—realizing that I can do it, even if it’s hard and takes a lot of practice. But at the end of the day, I can do it.” 

Abby credits the supportive staff at ORCA for helping her put together her project and developing her presentation skills. “I genuinely don’t know if there is a place I could feel more supported just because I could walk into any of their offices, ask a question, and come out satisfied with the answer. Or if they don’t know, they’ll help me figure it out, and they’re just so willing to be a part of my research, but also step back and let me do it and figure things out by myself.” 

foundry10 was excited to partner with ORCA and support student data collection for their research projects. To learn more about ORCA, visit their website. To learn more about foundry10 research, programs, and events visit foundry10.org.

Photo of the Elwha River, flowing between forested banks with a few fallen logs across its width.

Request for Proposal – Human Resources Support

August 11, 2023

About Long Live the Kings

Long Live the King’s (LLTK) mission is to restore wild salmon and steelhead and support sustainable fishing in the Pacific Northwest. Since 1986, we have been advancing science, improving management, and implementing solutions to balance the needs of fish and people.LLTK envisions a sustainable Northwest with a growing human population, a thriving economy, and flourishing salmon runs.

Our 18-member Board of Directors and 18 dedicated staff members seek broad involvement to help us accomplish our goals. Our core values are stewardship, collaboration, results, and learning. Our staff are located in Seattle, Hood Canal, and Orcas Island, and work throughout western Washington and the Pacific Northwest. Learn more about us in our 2025 Strategic Roadmap and on our website.

Project Description

LLTK is seeking a qualified human resources (HR) consultant for a 3+ year (with potential to extend)engagement to audit, design, implement, and maintain a human resources program in coordination with our leadership team and staff. The program will build off substantial policies and practices already developed at the organization, including an employee handbook, DEI roadmap and committee, and a highly engaged staff invested in creating a great place to work. The consultant or team will use their expertise to apply HR best practices throughout the organization in ways that preserve our identify as a unique, agile, small conservation non-profit. Together, we will work to have DEI best practices fully integrated throughout our HR program.

The decision to seek an HR consultant now comes during the largest staff size in the history of the organization, a climate of growth and improvement needed to accomplish our mission, and at a time when our in-house HR capacity and skillset has plateaued without formal support. Leadership and staff intend to be actively involved with the development and implementation of the program. We see this as being a highly collaborative process. We look forward to building an excellent relationship with the chosen respondent.

Estimate Contract Value

$150,000 over 3 years


While we have thought hard about these tasks, we welcome feedback based on the respondent’s expertise. The respondent may propose to adjust tasks based on budget, timing, or other factors.

Advise and administer our annual review process.

  • Review the current process to identify elements to improve. We desire to include peer and supervisor reviews in addition to self-evaluations that already exist.
  • Design and implement associated documents, policies, and practices consistently throughout the organization with assistance from supervisors.
  • Review salary ranges and changes in compensation to help ensure consistency, equity, market competitiveness, and provide recommendations to LLTK’s leadership.

Advise and support our DEI work.

  • Review and improve our current DEI efforts (committee, roadmap, learning activities, on-boarding materials, leadership approach, etc.).
  • Identify and administer wholistic DEI training and/or identify appropriate resources.

Advise and support resignations and terminations.

  • Train supervisors on best practices and create associated documentation.
  • Perform exit interviews.

Advise and support our hiring process (0-2 hires per year).

  • Review and improve our current hiring process (ATS, hiring guide, screening criteria, job description template, hiring surveys, etc.)
  • Manage application intake.
  • Support the hiring manager and committee.
  • Review and improve our on-boarding process.

Manage handbook and HR-related policies.

  • Manage and perform regular updates.
  • Be a resource for staff clarification.
  • Develop a whistleblower program and serve as the initial point of contact
  • Actively listen to and build trust with staff.

Advise on workplace culture development and best practices, particularly in a hybrid work environment.

  • Identify strategies relevant to our organization.
  • Be a resource for advice to inform culture/team building activities.


Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Demonstration of qualifications in HR and DEI
  • Clear cost breakdown by task/deliverable and rates
  • Expectations/ role/ responsibility of LLTK

If you have questions, please contact Allegra Horioka, ahorioka@lltk.org. The top 2 to 3 qualified respondents will likely be invited for a mutual interview so that the respondent may better understand our needs and we may clarify elements of the proposal. We will review proposals on September 12, 2023.

For Immediate Release:  Innovative fish passage project hopes to guide salmon and steelhead to survival at the Hood Canal Bridge 

Contact: Lucas Hall, Director of Projects – Long Live the Kings 

lhall@lltk.org (206) 382-9555 x30 

Port Gamble, WA – On April 10, the Hood Canal Bridge Assessment Team will deploy a $1.6 million fish guidance structure at the Hood Canal Bridge to help threatened salmon and steelhead pass one of the deadliest migration barriers in Washington. 

This is the first test of a long-awaited strategy to reduce the high number of young steelhead – up to 50% – that die at the bridge each year. The floating wedge-shaped structure, called a fillet, was the top near-term recommendation of the Hood Canal Bridge Assessment Team in their 2020 report analyzing the causes of high steelhead mortality at the bridge. It was built with state-appropriated funding by contractors Global Diving and Salvage, with design and engineering by Kleinschmidt Associates and Art Anderson Associates, fabrication at Pacific Netting Products in Kingston, and transportation by Boyer Logistics. The massive structure measures more than 20 feet high and 85 feet long and will sit in the water to fill in the 90-degree corner at the southeast end of the bridge. 

Research by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe indicates that migrating juvenile steelhead and salmon tend to get disoriented in these corners, making them easy targets for predators. With the fillet in place, researchers hope to see fish finding their way past the corner and around the bridge more quickly. 

Representatives from the Assessment Team, including Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, NOAA, the Washington State Departments of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and Transportation (WSDOT), the Hood Canal Coordinating Council, and project coordinator Long Live the Kings look forward to watching this major milestone, which comes after more than a decade of collaborative effort. 

As in previous years, NOAA has tagged juvenile steelhead with acoustic transmitters and placed underwater receivers around the bridge to track their movements. The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe is using underwater video and acoustic imaging to monitor fish and harbor seals during the test period. The fillet will be installed and removed in one-week windows during the peak of steelhead migration, between April 10 and May 14, allowing the research team to compare their behavior and survival with and without it. 

The discovery that the Hood Canal Bridge poses a deadly barrier for steelhead emerged from research first published by NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center in 2013, which found that tracked steelhead smolts were slowed down at the bridge and faced unusually high mortality there. In response, the Assessment Team conducted a comprehensive assessment of the bridge’s impact on salmon and steelhead and concluded that the bridge’s design was inadvertently blocking salmon migration and creating a predator hotspot. 

The bridge rests on floating concrete pontoons that extend 15 feet under the water’s surface, blocking more than 80% of the canal width. As the fish attempt to find a way past this underwater wall, they become easy prey for harbor seals. A NOAA study published in 2022 found that approximately half of juvenile steelhead that made it to the Hood Canal Bridge died nearby, most likely eaten by seals. 

Hood Canal steelhead are threatened under the Endangered Species Act, along with Hood Canal Chinook and chum populations. Research by the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe indicates that Chinook and chum may also be affected by the bridge. Steelhead and Chinook remain at a fraction of their historic numbers despite significant investments in habitat restoration and watershed-based recovery actions, impacting Tribal and recreational fisheries, local economies and cultural traditions, and the health of the surrounding ecosystem. 

“Addressing this one mortality hotspot could meaningfully restore productivity for imperiled salmon and steelhead in Hood Canal and is relatively simple compared to other more controversial salmon recovery actions that involve compromise,” says Megan Moore, NOAA. “Facilitating fish passage and eventual replacement of the Hood Canal Bridge benefits salmon and the entire ecosystem, including people.” 

The fillet, which is installed at water level by a tugboat and partially submerged, is not expected to impact traffic or be visible to cars on the bridge. If the data collected this year show that it improves steelhead survival, the project partners hope to pursue funding for additional fillets to cover the other corners on the bridge. In the long run, those involved in this study agree that a new bridge design will be needed to meet the needs of Hood Canal’s salmon, steelhead, and people. “As we learn how our built environment impacts salmon, steelhead and other natural assets that define our amazing region, we are called to find safe ways to reverse the damage,” said Long Live the Kings Executive Director, Jacques White. “Our hats are off to all the partners and funders that played key roles in this creative and remarkable effort to help juvenile steelhead safely past the Hood Canal Bridge. This story is about different groups coming together to solve problems for our fish, and the current and future generations of people who care about them.” 


Link to photos and media: 



• WA Senator Christine Rolfes: “Thanks to careful work by regional experts and passionate advocates, we are taking another meaningful step to improve wild fish survival in Hood Canal. This is a thoughtful and cost-effective strategy to protect migrating salmon without undermining critical transportation infrastructure. I continue to be inspired by the innovative solutions being developed to reduce environmental threats to our state’s iconic species.” 

• Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe Chairman: “The hard-won recognition of tribal treaty rights is virtually meaningless when salmon habitat is continually damaged and destroyed,” said Chairman Jeromy Sullivan, Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe. “The decline of fish populations and the resulting degradation of treaty rights has a resonating impact on tribal culture, subsistence needs, and economic development. We take seriously our responsibility to aid in the recovery of fish populations, their habitats, and other natural resources. Partnering with groups like Long Live the Kings helps us address these problems with potentially long-lasting solutions to further secure our ability to exercise our treaty rights for generations to come.” 

• Hood Canal Coordinating Council: “The Hood Canal Bridge fish passage effort is leading the way for infrastructure planning which is salmon-mindful, with effective collaboration across multiple facets of our society’s priorities from US Navy mission readiness, WSDOT safety and transportation ensuring emergency services, Tribal treaty reserved rights, and protection of state and federal investments in salmon recovery and ecosystem health.” 

• “This fillet is just one of the ways we’re working with partners to address predation on threatened salmon stocks,” said WDFW Director Kelly Susewind. “We’ve gained valuable information already from our recent research on seal activity in Puget Sound and other waters, and we continue exploring all potential options to reduce impacts to imperiled salmon on their journey to the ocean.” 

• Global Diving and Salvage: “The Global Diving team is proud to assist Long Live the Kings in their Hood Canal fish passage initiative. This project represents a significant step forward in preserving and restoring our natural ecosystems, and we are honored to play a role in this effort. We look forward to continuing to support the mission of Long Live the Kings to bring about meaningful change and ensure a healthy future for salmon, steelhead, and our environment as a whole.” 

About Long Live the Kings: Long Live the Kings is a non-profit salmon recovery organization based in Seattle. Since 1986, LLTK has been working to restore wild salmon and steelhead and support sustainable fishing in the Pacific Northwest. 

Herring illustrations show ancient techniques meeting modern science

This winter marks our third field season working with the Nisqually Indian Tribe on innovative research into herring populations. The study combines Indigenous knowledge with contemporary scientific methodology. We use a traditional practice of collecting herring roe on evergreen boughs alongside genetic analysis and habitat surveys. As with a lot of marine science, the most interesting parts of this study happen underwater. We were thrilled to be able to work with artist Rosemary Connelli to illustrate the process! These two infographic posters show the relationship between herring and salmon survival, and how this project uses Indigenous techniques to support research and recovery. Click the download links below to access PDF versions.

Infographic titled "Pacific Herring and Salmon Recovery"
Download Herring and Salmon Recovery Poster PDF
Studying Herring: Indigenous Knowledge at Work infographic
Download Studying Herring: Indigenous Knowledge At Work PDF

LLTK joins research network modeling Puget Sound ecosystems

Long Live the Kings is part of a new collaborative project led by the Puget Sound Institute to create the Puget Sound Integrated Modeling Framework (PSIMF). PSIMF will bring together five separate models of Puget Sound, helping scientists and planners understand the complex puzzle pieces of our region’s ecosystems from ocean to mountaintops.

Press Release: New Project Forecasts Future of Puget Sound

Funded in part by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, PSIMF will enable better regional planning and decision-making by providing a cohesive picture of the entire Puget Sound ecosystem. Components of the integrated framework will model land cover, freshwater, marine, food web and human activity. Hem Nalini Morzaria Luna, a researcher with Long Live the Kings, works with the Atlantis Ecosystem Model to study the Puget Sound food web. This research is key to ongoing work from the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project to understand how factors at the base of the food web – including the influence of climate change – ripple up to affect salmon and other predators like orcas. By combining Atlantis with the four other models, PSIMF provides a powerful tool for shaping the path to salmon recovery as part of a sustainable future for Puget Sound.

Read more on PSIMF and the power of data-driven modeling from Puget Sound Institute.

Long Live the Kings logo

Development Director

About Long Live the Kings (LLTK)

Our mission is to restore wild salmon and steelhead and support sustainable fishing in the Pacific Northwest. Since 1986, we have been advancing science, improving management, and implementing solutions to balance the needs of fish and people. LLTK envisions a sustainable Northwest with a growing human population, a thriving economy, and flourishing salmon runs. 

Our 18-member Board of Directors and 18 dedicated staff members seek broad involvement to help us accomplish our goals. Our core values are stewardship, collaboration, results, and learning. Our staff are located in Seattle, Hood Canal, and Orcas Island, and work throughout western Washington and the Pacific Northwest. Learn more about us in our 2025 Strategic Roadmap and on our website

LLTK is currently using a hybrid workplace model; if able, we ask all staff to work from our office in downtown Seattle at least one day a week, Tuesdays. Additionally, we have quarterly staff gatherings that require in-person participation and there may be additional work location and travel needs specific to this position. Note that this may change as we continue to adjust to workplace changes brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Position Summary – Development Director

LLTK is experiencing significant growth in influence, impact, and size. In the last six years we have steadily increased our budget and unrestricted private giving by 44% and 63% respectively. We are seeking our next Development Director to leverage this to continue growing our fundraising program to fuel our salmon recovery work throughout the region.

The ideal candidate has 5+ years of experience in development, or a related field, and is already connected to the regional philanthropy, conservation, recreation, and/or tech communities. Further, they have a track-record of personally stewarding and soliciting gifts of $500+ (as well as supporting staff and Boards to do the same) and have prior success securing sponsorship gifts.

This position will be managed by our Executive Director, Jacques White. The Development Director will manage the Senior Manager of Grants & Database and a part-time Development & Events Assistant. In addition, the development team will soon be hiring two new staff (part-time Development & Data Assistant and full-time Senior Manager of Major Gifts). The Senior Manager of Major Gifts will report directly to the Development Director, while the part-time Development & Data Assistant will report to the Senior Manager of Grants & Database. In total, the position will manage a team of four, that includes three direct reports. The ideal candidate will have experience managing staff or interns and will use compassion and a growth mindset to guide and nurture their expanding team.  

Last, but certainly not least, this person should expect to participate fully on our leadership team which also includes LLTK’s Director of Projects, Finance Director, and Executive Director. In this group, the Development Director will participate in critical decision making for the organization. Also in this capacity, they should be ready to manage both up and down and manage expectations. As a leadership team member, this individual helps to ensure that resources and decisions consider LLTK’s Strategic Plan, current capacity, LLTK values, and LLTK’s DEI Roadmap.  

Primary Duties 

  • Oversee fundraising program (25%)
    • Create and manage the annual fundraising plan & budget in collaboration with the lead development staff and Executive Director.
    • Manage development staff, lead hiring processes for new development staff.
    • Support Executive Director with fundraising-related tasks.
    • Regularly present to Board and staff on fundraising work.
    • Lead Board’s Development Committee. 
    • Work with Senior Manager of Grants & Database to develop annual grant strategy.
    • Work with Senior Manager of Major Gifts to develop annual major gifts strategy.
    • Integrate development program with mission, core salmon recovery projects, and public outreach.
  • Lead new fundraising initiatives (20%), including, but not limited to: planned-giving, new/special projects, endowment, etc. 
  • Collaborate with leadership staff and Board to help set direction of organization and ensure organizational health (12.5%).
    • Review, and help set, policies, annual goals, and budgets.
    • Track progress to Strategic Plan.
    • Prioritize and nurture DEI efforts.
    • Participate in emergency planning & response.
    • Co-lead Board Nominating Committee with the Executive Director.
    • Set annual communications strategy in collaboration with communications staff and Executive Director.
    • Contribute to a healthy culture through modeling and decision making.
  • Co-lead major donor program (20%)
    • Lead the hiring process for a Senior Manager of Major Gifts in 2023.
    • Plan and execute strategies for major donor cultivation, stewardship, and solicitation in collaboration with the Senior Manager of Major Gifts.
    • Develop creative strategies for building relationships with individuals to maximize financial support for LLTK (including frequent field and virtual opportunities).
    • Steward a personal portfolio of individuals (~100) to strategically increase their support; work with staff and Board to create and steward their own portfolios. 
  • Oversight of annual fundraising events program: manage staff and vendors to create and execute three annual fundraising events drawing 100-300+ guests, aim to achieve event fundraising success that exceeds pre-COVID numbers (20%). 
    • Work directly with the Executive Director, Board, and Senior Manager of Communications & External Affairs to set budgets, determine annual event strategy, event themes and key messaging, ensure our DEI values are reflected in each event (from accessibility considerations to diversity of audience and speakers), steward sponsors and make annual solicitations, solicit pre-committed event gifts (paddle raises of $1k+), secure Table Captains, secure RSVPs from key guests (major donors, partners, sponsors, etc.), table mapping, etc.
    • Oversee staff and contractors to complete the following: marketing, auction procurement and creation, committee creation and management, general audience development, day-of tasks, volunteer management, vendor and venue coordination, creation of event collaterals (design done by external vendor), data entry, etc. 
  • Participate fully in DEI efforts and advancement of LLTK’s DEI Roadmap, likely to include participating in committees or special DEI efforts, applying a DEI lens to fundraising efforts, and working on leadership-lead DEI goals and tasks (2.5%).

Compensation, Benefits, & Location

LLTK is dedicated to centering equity. As part of that work, we have made our salary scale transparent. LLTK Directors are compensated between $100,000 – $142,000 annually. Generous benefits provided include:

  • Paid Time Off (Vacation accrued at 10 hours per month for the first 3 years of employment, Sick time accrued at 8 hours per month, 13 Floating PTO days)
  • Health Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Health Reimbursement Account (HRA)
  • 401k with matching opportunities (after one year of full-time employment) at 5%
  • Long Term Disability Insurance
  • Flex Spending Account 
  • Dependent Care FSA
  • ORCA Pass for commuting
  • Dog Friendly Office
  • A hybrid work environment: Note that the duties of this position may include additional in-person responsibilities such as: ongoing management responsibilities (including initial get-to-know-you and trust building activities), donor meetings, and events. Despite these in-person needs, we trust you to know how and where you work best, either remotely or in our office.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Two and a half years ago staff and Board began a formal process of examining ourselves and our organization with a DEI lens. Our intention is to do this work so that we can authentically embrace DEI principles as a core value that drives the success of our people, our partners, and our work. 

How to Apply

We welcome and encourage qualified people of all identities and abilities to applyPlease email to apply, letting us know how/where you heard about the job, and include a resume or CV and 1-page cover letter that describes your interest in LLTK and this position, and your relevant qualifications and experience. Application review begins January 25th; the position will remain open until filled. 

We look forward to receiving your materials. Please send them to Lynn Baker at lbaker@lltk.org. We’re a small team and politely request that follow-up calls or emails be restricted to technical questions or necessary accommodations having to do with applying.

Aerial photo looking down onto a stormwater filtration system, a square black box on a wooden platform with long green pipes running from the highway guardrail and extending into a grassy field. Shrubs in brown and orange fall foliage surround the pipe from the roadway.

Piloting a New Way to Manage Stormwater in Ohop Valley

In the late 1800s, settlers converted the Ohop Valley to pastures and farm fields, turning a once meandering Ohop Creek into a straight-flowing ditch to drain the valley for dairy farming. The process drastically transformed the landscape, reducing its ability to provide spawning and rearing habitat for historical salmon populations, including chum, pink, coho, and Chinook salmon, as well as steelhead and cutthroat trout.  As a major tributary to the Nisqually, the loss of this habitat was detrimental to these salmon and has contributed to decreased populations and the listing of Chinook and steelhead as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Substantial work has been done to address the historic habitat degradation, however new science points to another more modern threat to salmon recovery.

Over the past 15 years, watershed partners have worked together to implement the Lower Ohop Creek Restoration Project, transforming the lower section of Ohop Creek and the surrounding valley, converting it back to what it looked like prior to settlement. Completed over two phases of construction, over 2 miles of Ohop Creek have been remeandered, derelict structures and invasive plant species removed, and large woody debris placed throughout the valley floor.  As part of the restoration, nearly 200,000 native trees and shrubs have been planted across 180 acres of floodplain. 

The restoration of Ohop Creek is a major step in recovering Nisqually salmon, but stormwater pollution that comes of off roadways has been recently identified as a major threat to recovery. Some of the harmful components of stormwater include heavy metals and microscopic tire particles. Traffic volume along Highway 7, which crosses Ohop Creek near the Town of Eatonville, has been on the rise due to population growth of the Puget Sound region resulting in more of these chemicals entering Ohop Creek. According to Washington State’s Department of Transportation’s 2019 annual average daily traffic data, assuming four tires per vehicle, roughly 12 pounds of microscopic tire particles are released at this site throughout the year. Scientists have recently discovered that these tire dust particles contain a chemical known as 6PPD-Quinone, which causes mortality in salmon, especially coho, in low quantities.  The Nisqually Indian Tribe and Long Live the Kings have partnered with Cedar Grove, an environmental solutions company, to pilot a mobile biofiltration system designed specifically to capture and filter stormwater run-off from Highway 7.  

Photo from ground level showing white plastic gutter running alongside a low guardrail by the side of a rural highway with grass and trees around it.
A gutter system collected stormwater runoff from Highway 7, feeding into the filtration unit.

In January 2022, the unit was installed between the two bridge crossings along Highway 7, in close proximity to Ohop Creek.  The size of the unit allows for the collection of 91% of the roadway run-off. With each significant rain event, the system automatically collects water quality samples at three locations:  where the run-off enters the filtration system, the middle of the system, and at the outlet where the water is discharged onto the Ohop Creek floodplain. The water samples allow researchers to test the effectiveness of Cedar Grove’s system at removing harmful contaminants. These samples are tested for their chemical and toxicological composition, including heavy metals, ammonia, dissolved organic carbon, total suspended solids, nitrates, nitrites, total phosphorus, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH’s). Additionally, the composite samples are shared with Washington State University to assess biological impacts and University of Washington’s Tacoma Campus to test for 6PPD and 6PPD-Quinone. 

A group of people stand around the edge of grassy clearing surrounded by young trees. Large green pipes bent at right angles extend from a large container in front of them. A man in a black shirt and baseball hat stands between the pipes talking to the group.

The biofiltration system is mobile, relatively inexpensive, and scalable for different stormwater filtration needs.  If the system can safely remove harmful chemicals and prevent them from polluting salmon streams, don’t be surprised if you see the use of this system become widespread.  In the very near future, stormwater filtration systems will go hand in hand with habitat restoration as a principal salmon recovery tool.  

Fall 2022 Update:

By the end of April, the Ohop biofiltration system had encountered two significant rain events. As of November, preliminary data analysis shows positive signs that this system is effective at reducing heavy metals, water toxicity, and 6PPD-quinone to levels that are not detrimental to salmon. We hope to continue this study and look forward to sharing more results as they are available!

Learn more from the Northwest Treaty Tribes here.

Come along on a tour of the project site (via LLTK’s Instagram)!


Authors: Ashley Von Essen is the Lead Entity Coordinator at the Nisqually Indian Tribe. Ashley Bagley is a Project Manager at Long Live the Kings. This article was originally published in the Summer 2022 issue of Yil-Me-Hu, the Nisqually Watershed Salmon Recovery newsletter. Read the full issue here.

Project partners include: Nisqually Indian Tribe, Long Live the Kings, Cedar Grove, Fremont Analytical, Herrera Environmental Consultants, Nisqually Land Trust, University of Washington at Tacoma, Washington State Department of Transportation, Washington State University at Puyallup.

Financial support for this project was provided by: Nisqually Indian Tribe, Puget Sound Stewardship and Mitigation Fund, Royal Bank of Canada, Sustainable Path Foundation, and Washington Sea Grant. 

Collage of four photos overlaid with blue and green filters. The first shows an aerial view of a green stormwater filtration unit in a forested wetland next to a highway. Second shows a pier extending over the water with a yellow boom and pilings underneath. Third image shows green outflow pipes on grass. Fourth image shows a group of people in vests and hard hats overlooking a waterfront construction site.

What is blue-green infrastructure?

Every day we benefit from the natural environment around us. These benefits, called ecosystem services, have not always been acknowledged in urban planning. However, in recent years there have been efforts to strategically draw on nature to deliver benefits that fall under the umbrella of “blue-green infrastructure” (BGI). This term can have many definitions, but in its broadest form these are natural and semi-natural areas with land (“green”) and water (“blue”) features designed to manage and deliver ecosystem services. Sometimes these are just referred to as “green infrastructure,” but the recent addition of “blue” makes the central role of water in ecosystem services more explicit. So, what does BGI look like on the ground? You may already have some BGI features in your own backyard! 

At the residential home scale, this can look like catching rain in rain barrels for irrigation in the dry season, controlling driveway run-off with natural mini wetlands (rain gardens), or planting more trees to shade the home, lower temperatures and reduce run-off. At a much larger scale, Hamburg, Germany launched a Green Roof Strategy with an ambitious goal to “green” at least 247 acres of rooftops in the city within one decade, to regulate temperatures and mitigate water runoff. Across the globe in the Yangtze River Delta of China, they are planning a 250-acre eco-corridor to transform an industrial area of Ningbo into a “living filter” with canals that mimic a floodplain, habitat for native plants and animals, and recreational, educational and cultural facilities. In cities and neighborhoods, these examples of blue-green infrastructure are addressing the impacts of climate change, such as floods and droughts, through water conservation, groundwater recharge, and reduced surface runoff.  

Find out how to create your own rain garden with help from 12,000 Rain Gardens in Puget Sound.

A containerized compost biofiltration unit capturing roadway runoff before it reaches Ohop Creek in the winter of 2022.

Salmon here in the Pacific Northwest can also benefit from BGI practices. For example, BGI approaches to stormwater management can be used to keep rainwater from overwhelming sewer systems, which can contaminate the water and harm salmon in nearby waterways. In particular, runoff from highways has recently been linked to sudden death of coho salmon that were exposed to 6PPD-quinone, a toxic compound resulting from car tire wear. Studies are now underway to see how blue-green infrastructure can be used to address this issue. LLTK is working with the Nisqually Indian Tribe, Herrera, and Cedar Grove in Ohop Creek to test the use of a compost-based media, in a process called biofiltration, to filter out contaminants from roadway runoff. During the pilot project in early 2022, we collected stormwater samples to evaluate the performance of the biofiltration system at a site along a salmon-bearing stream. Biofiltration is usually used in bioswales or other systems permanently built into an environment. The system we used in this pilot project is mobile and containerized so the project team can easily remove the contaminated biofiltration media when necessary, making it a more flexible tool.   

See more of the Ohop Stormwater Pilot in the Nisqually Salmon Recovery newsletter Yil-Me-Hu.

In the lower Duwamish River, the ship building company Vigor has partnered with LLTK and the University of Washington to assess a blue-green infrastructure project designed to create natural, estuarine habitat for salmon at Vigor’s shipyard on Harbor Island. This is an atypical “restoration” project, since Vigor is actually creating natural habitat on an artificial island that was built in the early 1900s to support industrial activities. The project goal is to create functional habitat that benefits salmon as they migrate out to the ocean through the Duwamish estuary. These pockets of habitat in an otherwise industrial landscape could provide rest stops for salmon during migration. The project is currently in the habitat construction phase, and the University of Washington and LLTK will assess the outcomes for salmon in 2024 and 2025. If the results show that salmon are using the habitat for resting and feeding, it will be a good indication that more “salmon rest stops” could help salmon in the Duwamish estuary.

Read more about the Vigor Urban Estuary Restoration.

Photo of a group of people in green safety vests and white hardhats, gathered in front of a large yellow Caterpillar excavator at a construction site on a sunny day. The water and cranes of Seattle's working waterfront are in the background.
Construction of new salmon habitat underway at Vigor in 2021.

LLTK seeks to better understand how we can use BGI in the Puget Sound to improve the health of our salmon populations. We’ll keep you posted on the outcomes of these BGI projects! 

Shaara Ainsley is a senior project manager at Long Live the Kings.

Survive the Sound: Día 5

¡Último día de la migración!

Inicie sesión y chequea tu pescado.

¡Solo siete peces sobrevivieron! ¡GUAU! Parece que las truchas arcoiris jóvenes necesitan nuestra ayuda para sobrevivir a su migración a través de Puget Sound. Long Live the Kings y sus socios están trabajando para aprender porque los salmones juveniles y las truchas arcoiris están muriendo a un nivel elevado en Puget Sound. Esto puede ser una parte importante para ayudar a recuperar estos peces icónicos. ¡Esperamos que se mantenga en contacto para aprender más sobre este proyecto importante!

Usa tu correo electrónico o nombre de usuario, inicie sesión en SurvivetheSound.org/es. Inmediatamente vas a ver el progreso de tu pez. Usa el filtro del mapa para ver todos los 48 pescados y prueba tu conocimiento con el cuestionario diario. Haz clic en peces individuales para obtener más información y observar su migración.

Gracias a todos los que participaron este año. Ayúdenos a alcanzar nuestra meta de $40,000. Dona para apoyar la recuperación del salmón salvaje y la trucha arcoiris en Puget Sound. No podríamos hacerlo sin USTED.

Aprende sobre: Depredadores

Foca de puerto equipada con un dispositivo de seguimiento de salmón.

El salmón es una parte importante de nuestra vida y dieta, pero también compartimos este recurso con muchas otras especies. Los pájaros, las focas, los leones marinos, los osos, las marsopas, las ballenas, y otros pescados dependen del salmón como parte de su dieta. Con las poblaciones del salmón y la trucha arcoiris en riesgo, muchas personas se preguntan si hay demasiadas bocas comiendo salmón juvenil.

Lee más aquí (inglés)



¿Quieres mostrar tu amor por el salmón?

Hemos recibido muchas solicitudes de camisetas de Survive the Sound durante los últimos 5 años de la campana. Tenemos todo los 48 peces para elegir, varios colores de camisa para cada diseño!




¡Gracias a nuestros patrocinadores!

Correo electrónico: sts@lltk.org
Llama: 206-382-9555 x30

Survive the Sound: Día 4

¡Día cuatro de la migración!

Inicie sesión y chequea tu pescado.

Tenemos dos peces que se acercan la línea de meta hoy, vamos, Jaws y Empowerfish! Tu pez murió o llegó al Pacifico?

Usa tu correo electrónico o nombre de usuario, inicie sesión en SurvivetheSound.org/es. Inmediatamente vas a ver el progreso de tu pez. Usa el filtro del mapa para ver todos los 48 pescados y prueba tu conocimiento con el cuestionario diario. Haz clic en peces individuales para obtener más información y observar su migración.

Parece que hay algunos problemas alrededor del puente Hood Canal. Parece que casi todos los peces, excepto cuatro, han muerto (vamos April, Finn Geneer, Sammy & Sergeant Snackbar, vamos!). ¿Quieres aprender más sobre qué podría estar pasando?

Ve a este video para aprender más sobre como el puente afecta la migración de la trucha arcoiris juvenil. Haz clic en el siguiente imagen o aquí para ver ahorita:

Aprende sobre: Barreras de Migración

Los datos que se usan en Survive the Sound, recopilados por Megan Moore en NOAA National Marine Fisheries Services, revelaron que hasta el 50% de la trucha arcoiris juvenil que llega al puente Hood Canal no sobreviven más allá. Estos datos, combinados con otra evidencia, sugiere que el puente actúa como una barrera contra la migración de peces, aumentando la mortalidad de la trucha arcoiris y posiblemente de otros peces. Long Live the Kings está trabajando para abordar el problema en cooperación con socios regionales.

Lee más aquí (inglés)


¡Gracias a nuestros patrocinadores!

Correo electrónico: sts@lltk.org
Llama: 206-382-9555 x30