News: Uncategorized

Outdoor photo of four children in hooded raincoats facing away from the camera, standing on logs to look over a fence at a forest creek.

Where to See Salmon in Washington State

Viewing a salmon run in the Pacific Northwest is a powerful experience. We’ve put together this list of salmon watching locations from organizations around Washington State, so you can see this epic migration in your own community. Don’t see your favorite public viewing spot here? Let us know so we can add it!

Tips for Salmon Viewing

  • Give salmon space, and stay out of the stream. They are working hard, and if you’re near the spawning grounds, the streambed may already contain redds (nests of salmon eggs). Walking in the water disturbs the fish and can kill the eggs. Learn how to spot a redd.

  • Polarized sunglasses can make it easier to see fish in the water. 

  • Learn about the different species and their behavior. The local organizations below have great resources. You can also find an identification guide from Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife here.

  • Observe the whole environment. Is the streambed rocks, sand, gravel, or a combination? Are there trees shading the water? What’s the weather like? What other animals do you see using this habitat? How much human influence can you see?

  • Bring the experience home by taking action. We have 10 ways you can help save salmon, from building a healthier environment, to contributing to science, to sharing your salmon love with your friends, family, and leaders. Many of the links below also have ways you can volunteer for salmon recovery! 

P.S. Salmon viewing can be an at-home experience too! Watch salmon returning to the Issaquah Hatchery on their live feed here. And you can join our Hood Canal steelhead underwater any time at LLTK’s livestreaming Fish Camera! 

Long Live the Kings logo (dark blue text with a grey salmon leaping between the words)

Science Project Manager

Interviews for this position are underway. While the position is still open, please keep this information in mind if you are considering applying. Thank you for you interest in working with LLTK.

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 26-member Board of Directors, and 13 dedicated staff members seek broad involvement to help us accomplish our goals.  Our core values include collaboration, innovation, accountability, and inclusivity.  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

Position Summary – Science Project Manager

This new team member will use their scientific, technical, and project management expertise to help LLTK advance science and implement solutions for salmon recovery and sustainable fisheries. This is a full-time position focused on managing existing projects, developing and implementing new projects, and ultimately influencing the trajectory of salmon recovery. 

The Science Project Manager will report to the Associate Director for Government Relations and Special Projects and collaborates across all departments. If you are a scientific, creative, and strategic thinker, have experience collecting, analyzing, and visualizing technical data with qualitative and quantitative methods, have developed and implemented collaborative research and/or salmon conservation projects, possess strong writing and presentation skills, and are excited to engage with diverse stakeholders on a wide range of projects, we hope to hear from you. 

Key Responsibilities

  • Works collaboratively in a team environment across all levels of staff and the Board of Directors to develop and implement research projects that typically engage a varied group of stakeholders within the salmon research community. This includes securing project funding for existing and new priorities
  • Facilitates discussions and decision-making processes, including multi-party, multi-disciplinary, multi-agency project-related meetings; scientific discussions; workshops; conference sessions; stakeholder sessions; and technical science team meetings to develop research or apply science to management and conservation actions 
  • Coordinates and manages project contracts, subcontracts, and associated reporting and deliverables
  • Identifies and obtains appropriate scientific and regulatory permits to conduct project work
  • Designs and executes technical studies, including data collection and statistical analysis
  • Develops scientific reports, issue papers, project progress reports, work plans, strategic planning documents, monitoring and adaptive management plans, grant applications, and outreach/communications materials
  • Communicates project progress and results to diverse technical and non-technical audiences through presentations, reports, and public-facing communications materials in conferences, webinars, or public forums
  • Consults on technical issues related to project activities and hatchery operations across the organization 
  • Builds and maintains relationships with state, federal, tribal, local, and nonprofit project partners around the region
  • As needed, effectively seeks guidance from and shares information with scientific resources outside the organization
  • Provides input on the vision and strategic direction of the organization
  • Participates fully in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, and works to apply a DEI lens to project work

Ideal Experience, Skills, & Qualifications

  • Developing, implementing, facilitating, synthesizing, and managing multi-party, collaborative scientific projects, assessments, or experiments
  • Providing guidance on and applying the latest science and state of the knowledge to salmon restoration actions, and managing proof of concept projects
  • Collecting, analyzing, and visualizing technical data with qualitative and quantitative methods for scientific writing, progress reports, technical reports, and/or manuscripts
  • Managing contract budgets, schedules, and associated deliverables
  • Communicating progress and results of technical projects to diverse technical and non-technical audiences through presentations, reports, and public-facing communications materials
  • Desire to be a part of our diversity, equity, and inclusion work as it moves forward
  • Proven work experience in fisheries biology, ecology, natural resources management, environmental science, conservation science, or closely related field
  • Bachelor’s degree, or a more advanced degree, in fisheries biology, ecology, natural resources management, environmental science, conservation science, or closely related field (or an equivalent combination of education and experience that provides the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the duties and responsibilities as described)

Additional Experience, Skills, & Qualifications

  • Conducting climate resiliency and/or salmon diversity projects, or relevant education in those fields 
  • Familiarity with technical aspects of hatchery practices and issues in salmon management and conservation
  • Experience giving public presentations
  • Passion for protecting and stewarding nature and wildlife
  • Competencies in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), R, GIS, and/or equivalent data analysis platforms
  • Experience writing grants, or assisting with them 
  • History of peer-reviewed manuscripts, white papers, technical reports
  • Fieldwork experience in the nearshore and marine environments
  • Existing network of Puget Sound environmental and/or salmon recovery professionals
  • Experience working with diverse partners and stakeholders
  • Ability to work independently in a remote environment
  • Leadership role(s) in prior paid and/or volunteer positions

Compensation, Benefits, & Location

$62,000-78,000 annual salary, depending upon qualifications. Generous benefits provided including:

  • Paid Time Off (Vacation, Sick, Holiday, Personal)
  • Health Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Health Reimbursement Account (HRA)
  • 401k with matching opportunities (after one year of full-time employment) 5%
  • Long Term Disability Insurance
  • Flex Spending Account 
  • Dependent Care FSA
  • ORCA Pass for commuting

This position is based in downtown Seattle (5th & University) in our administrative offices but will be remote/hybrid during Covid-19; the ability to work remotely is necessary at this time.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Both staff and Board have recently begun a formal process of examining ourselves and our organization with a DEI lens. Our intention is to do the 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 where you saw the job posted or how you heard about it, and include a resume and 1-page cover letter that describes your interest in this position and your relevant qualifications and experience. Priority review given to applications received by 9/20; position open until filled. 

We look forward to receiving your materials. Please send them to Lucas Hall at lhall@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. 

Long Live the Kings logo (dark blue text with a grey salmon leaping between the words)

Finance Coordinator

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 23-member Board of Directors, and 16 dedicated staff members seek broad involvement to help us accomplish our goals.  Our core values include collaboration, innovation, accountability, and inclusivity.  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

Position Summary – Finance Coordinator

Long Live the Kings is looking for an energetic and resourceful professional, someone who enjoys problem solving and has a knack for numbers. If you are a skilled bookkeeper with solid fund-accounting experience in recording day-to-day financial transactions and enjoys being part of a collaborative team and bringing fresh ideas to the table, this may be the fit for you. Your focus will primarily be on accounts payable and accounts receivable with growth potential to handle financial reporting, assist in budgets, and cash flow. The Finance Coordinator will help facilitate the daily financial workings of this ambitious non-profit, with an annual budget of roughly $3 million (www.lltk.org). The selected candidate will receive hands-on training in the industry’s leading fund accounting software; Abila MIP Fund Accounting and report directly to the Finance Director.

Key Responsibilities

Accounts Payable

  • Distribute invoices for coding and approval
  • Enter A/P and run checks
  • Maintain vendor 1099’s and year-end W-9 IRS reporting

 

Accounts Receivable

  • Generate reports for monthly and quarterly reimbursable billings and invoice accordingly
  • Track and invoice deliverable agreements

 

Cash Receipts

  • Coordinate with the development team to code donations
  • Maintain customers in MIP, this includes entering new customer ID’s and ensure it aligns with Development Departments CRM
  • Monthly Cash Receipts import as needed

 

Cash Disbursements

  • Manage credit card ledgers for corporate card holders
  • This includes entry into the accounting software

 

Financial Reporting/ Reconciliations

  • Generate fund reports and determine if appropriate indirect was taken
  • Perform monthly reconciliation of donations with Development Director and lead on any reclass entries
  • Monthly reconciliation of Credit Card Payables account

 

Administrative Duties

  • Participates fully in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, and works to apply a DEI lens to your work
  • Timesheets
    • Create new timesheets for each staff annually
    • Update when needed throughout the year
    • Ensure timesheets are received for monthly payroll
  • Enter budgets into MIP annually
  • Manage meeting invites for Finance Committee (quarterly/ as needed)
  • Send out annually and track receipt of Conflict of Interest policies
  • Ensure and track proper review and sign-off of Executive Director’s timesheet, expense reimbursements and CC ledger
  • File management both physical and uploaded into MIP (Bank Recons & Deposits)
  • Assist in annual audit
  • Point person for our general liability insurance (event and project needs)
  • Enter monthly distribution codes into MIP

Ideal Experience, Skills, & Qualifications

  • 1+ years of fund accounting experience
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Excel
  • Excellent time management
  • Ability to work independently
  • Experience working with MIP Fund Accounting software preferred
  • Demonstrated commitment to valuing diversity and contributing to an inclusive working and learning environment, or the willingness to quickly learn and do so.

Additional Experience, Skills, & Qualifications

  • Passion for protecting and stewarding nature and wildlife
  • Experience working with diverse partners and stakeholders

Compensation, Benefits, & Location

$55,000-63,000 annual salary, depending upon qualifications. Candidates seeking an offer above this salary range need not apply. Generous benefits provided including:

  • Paid Time Off (Vacation, Sick, Holiday, Personal)
  • Health Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Health Reimbursement Account (HRA)
  • 401k with matching opportunities (after one year of full-time employment) 5%
  • Long Term Disability Insurance
  • Flex Spending Account
  • Dependent Care FSA
  • ORCA Pass for commuting

This position is based in downtown Seattle (5th & University) in our administrative offices  Some work may be remote, but regular office presence is required to execute the position’s duties.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Both staff and Board have recently begun a formal process of examining ourselves and our organization with a DEI lens. Our intention is to do the 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 apply. Please email to apply, letting us know in the text of the submission email where you saw the job posted or how you heard about it, and include a resume and 1-page cover letter that describes your interest in this position and your relevant qualifications and experience. Priority review given to applications received by December 22nd; position open until filled.

We look forward to receiving your materials. Please send them to Allegra Horioka at ahorioka@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.

Photo of a wide, grey body of water narrowing to a channel in the center between two green tree-covered land masses. Behind them in the distance are more hills and a cloudy sky.

Remembering Lorraine Loomis

Long Live the Kings joins all those honoring the memory of Lorraine Loomis, who died this week at the age of 81. As Director of Swinomish Fisheries and Chair of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, Lorraine was a champion for salmon and the interests of her Tribe, her community and all people who cared about fish, fishing and the environment that supports them all. She was a beloved friend and leader for her passion, kindness, strength, and tireless commitment to a future for salmon and tribal fisheries.

The Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission shares some of Lorraine’s own powerful words in their tribute to her life:

“None of us tribal natural resources managers are working for today. We are all working for tomorrow. We are working to make certain there will be salmon for the next seven generations.”

We will miss Lorraine terribly, but we’re determined to carry on her legacy in our work and efforts to guarantee that salmon will be here for this and many generations to come.

Super Salmon Education Resources

Long Live the Kings is investing in the future of salmon and steelhead in the Pacific Northwest.  In order for young people to champion this cause for decades to come, we need to give them the opportunity to learn about their own environments, feel connected, and be empowered to take action. Thanks to a grant from Boeing and support from partners like NOAA, we’ve been able to revamp our classroom materials to provide educators free resources for remote and in-person learning environments. Hear more about the material and other salmon education resources below. 

Survive the Sound in the Classroom 

Our educational program designed to accompany the Survive the Sound migration provides free resources for teachers to do with their classes either online or in the physical classroom. There are six activities mostly suited for 2nd-6th grade, but which can be adapted to any grade K-12. The activities discuss the salmon life cycle, watersheds, Steelhead anatomy, and more! These place-based lessons can be taught anytime, but are especially relevant during the weeks leading up to, during, and after the migration in early May. 

Survive the Sound in the Classroom lessons are connected to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and can be incorporated into Amplify units as well as Washington State’s Tribal Sovereignty Curriculum, Since Time Immemorial. This program is also researched based, using data from real juvenile steelhead on their way out to the Puget Sound. It is a great resource to include in your STEM or Social Studies units. From math activities to engineering design problems to discussing the human impact on the watershed, Survive the Sound in the Classroom is a great tool to connect abstract concepts to a tangible, meaningful subject- salmon and steelhead in Puget Sound.

Survive the Sound can be taught virtually or in person, with digital lessons suitable for google classrooms and Seesaw lessons as well as PDFs to print and distribute to students. The lessons can be flexible to your current scheduling whether you only have time for 5 minutes a day or 45. During the migration, students can also journal along and form hypotheses about what their fish might be experiencing.  

To learn more about Survive the Sound in the Classroom, please check out this educator training video:

Since Time Immemorial

Since Time Immemorial (STI) is Washington State’s tribal sovereignty curriculum for social studies. Salmon science and Survive the Sound’s activities can be easily woven into STI’s units, especially the Elementary pathways: “Honoring the Salmon” and “Salmon Homecoming” as well as the Middle School pathways: “River of Kings” and “Fish Wars”. As you think about what elements of salmon education you want to bring into your classroom or program, check out these videos from local PNW tribal members:   

  • Combining graphic art and storytelling, Roger Fernandez of the Clallum Tribe tells the traditional story of the Salmon Boy. Listen to a short story with a valuable lesson about our connection to the environment while also learning about Coast Salish art.  
  • I am salmon”, a video about the 5 pacific salmon narrated by a tribal member. This video discusses the life cycle, diet, and environmental needs of salmon from a native perspective. 
  • Billy Frank Jr. narrates “sčədadxʷ (salmon)”, a short video describing the importance of salmon to the Nisqually and other tribes. This beautifully animated video explores the past, present, and future of salmon heath. 

Salmon in Schools

Many Conservation Districts and local government organizations such as Seattle Public Utilities offer programs for teachers to raise salmon in their classrooms and release them in the Spring. This is a great way for students to see fish grow up from eggs to fry and get to know them close and personal. These are a few resources you can find your local Salmon in Schools program:

Visit your local hatchery

In-person or virtual field trips to a hatchery are a great way to incorporate experiential learning about salmon needs, life cycle, and anatomy. There are many hatcheries that provide educational opportunities including:

Please send us your experiences with Salmon Education in your classroom! sts@lltk.org

Ten Things YOU can do to Help Save Salmon

The movement to save salmon is built on many fronts. From cutting edge computer modeling with artificial intelligence to a 20-minute lesson in a 3rd grade classroom, we need progress in all areas to rebuild salmon populations for the next generation. Here are 10 things YOU can do to help save salmon and steelhead.

 

  1. Learn about Salmon. Salmon conservation and recovery requires us to deal with long standing problems, but new problems and solutions are regularly identified. Subscribing to the Long Live the Kings email list is an easy way to be updated on some of the latest salmon news. We send our quarterly e-news, Fishues, as well as special messages. Sign up at the bottom of this page. For students and educators, please visit our classroom page for lesson plans, videos, and more resources about salmon.

 

  1. Dispose of your waste properly. It’s tempting to save some time and throw everything into one garage bin, but those few seconds saved can results in environmental damage that is very difficult to undo. Get it right the first time, especially with pharmaceuticals and hazardous waste. Each city or county will have its own guidance on waste disposal, but for King County residents, follow instructions here. And, don’t forget to pick up your pet waste!

 

  1. Don’t drip and drive. Leaking fluids from a car or truck is often washed into our rivers, streams, and in front of our ocean beaches. These chemicals are toxic to wildlife and extremely difficult and expensive to remove from the water. Get your vehicle running right and help save salmon by following the tips here.

 

  1. Be RainWise. Water from storms can wash pollutants into lakes, creek, and Puget Sound. RainWise is a rebate program that helps eligible property owners manage stormwater by installing rain gardens and/or cisterns on private property. This prevents flooding, adds attractive landscaping, and can provide water for summer irrigation. If you don’t have space for a rain garden, consider adding native plants to your yard. Native plants are naturally adapted to your local climate, weather, soil types, and rainfall so they don’t need extra watering, fertilizers, or pesticides. Like a rain garden, native plants help absorb rain, hold soil, and trap runoff.

 

  1. Tell them how much you care. Every year, only a small fraction of the proposed habitat restoration and environmental monitoring projects are funded. Your elected officials care about salmon, steelhead, and the environment, but they are faced with hard decisions about what to do with limited funds. They need your support to create the laws and devote the funding necessary to save our salmon. Find and contact your legislators here.

 

  1. Understand tribal treaty rights. Since time immemorial, tribes have stewarded the Salish Sea and continue to today. Treaties guarantee tribes the rights to some natural resources, and as these resources have declined, tribes have used these rights to protect resources. Understanding this history will make you a more powerful salmon conservation advocate.

 

  1. Support businesses who support salmon conservation. When possible, we encourage you to purchase products and services from LLTK partners and business that support environmental conservation. View our partners here and learn more about Salmon-Safe products and services here.

 

  1. Buy a fishing license. We know, this one sounds counterintuitive, but sustainable fishing is critical salmon recovery. Fishing provides an opportunity to learn about the environment and build a deeper connection with this amazing resource. Between 2015 and 2017, licensing revenue contributed $12.1 million to healthy habitat. Find more info on fishing licenses here.

 

  1. Volunteer. Long Live the Kings and others have opportunities to volunteer your time to help save salmon. Planting trees and removing invasive species is a popular way to volunteer, but few people realize that your professional skill might be much more valuable. Graphic designs, advertisers, construction workers, web developers, and many others have service they can donate to fundraisers or provide directly to organization in-kind. Sign up to volunteer here.

 

  1. Donate. Your donations help Long Live the Kings launch new projects, take bold action, grow the movement to save salmon, and much more. We cannot thank our donors enough for what they have helped us accomplish. Join them here.

 

Are there more ways to save salmon? ABSOLUTLEY! Share your ideas below.

Sand Lance

Do marine plastics pose a threat to salmon survival in the Salish Sea?

Microplastics in our water is a relatively new problem and many are rightfully concerned. Spurred by encouragement from the broader LLTK community, we reviewed the available research to determine if marine plastics pose a threat to salmon survival. The following information is based on studies assessing marine plastic effects on zooplankton and fish conducted inside and outside of the Salish Sea. We looked specifically at zooplankton and forage fish when reviewing available research because they are important food for salmon and may play a role in transferring plastics through marine food webs.

As many of us know, plastic is a pervasive human-caused pollutant in the marine environment. Plastics can enter the marine environment either from marine-based activities like fishing, aquaculture, and shipping, or land-based activities that result in wastewater effluent, runoff, or river discharge (Desforges et al. 2014). When we’re thinking about plastics affecting salmon, size matters. Smaller sized plastics less than 5 millimeters, also known as microplastics, are concerning because they are the most likely to be consumed by juvenile and adult salmon either intentionally (they can look like food) or accidentally.

Copepod with Plastics
Microplastic, shown in neon green, inside a copepod.

Upon consumption, marine plastics can physically and chemically affect zooplankton and fish. Physical effects from eating it can obstruct their mouths and throats, block their digestive track, artificially fill their stomachs, and be absorbed into other parts of their body (Cedervall et al. 2012; Cole et al. 2013; Rochman et al. 2013; Desforges et al. 2014, 2015). Chemical effects may also occur from the toxic ingredients in the plastic (e.g., petroleum products) or from environmental chemicals that attached to the plastic from seawater (e.g., PCBs) (Cole et al. 2013; Rochman et al. 2013; Hipfner et al. 2018). It’s important to note that effects from plastics may be unique among species, types of contaminants, and types and sizes of plastics (Desforges et al. 2015; Ašmonaitė et al. 2018).

Despite marine plastic pollution being a widely known environmental issue, very little field research has been done in our region to assess how salmon are affected after consuming marine plastic either directly or via their food. Most of the research assessing effects has been laboratory-based and results are often varied. In 2019, researchers performed a thorough review of plastic effects on marine organisms and found an effect was more likely to be detected at higher concentrations of microplastics and mortality occurred at extreme concentrations that are not typically found in the environment (Bucci et al. 2019). This review indicates that field studies may provide a more realistic understanding of exposure and consumption rates for target species, such as salmon.

Along the British Columbia coastline, two different field studies assessed marine plastic consumption rates for zooplankton and forage fish, important food for salmon. In the first study, scientists determined about 3% of copepods and around 6% of euphausiids (AKA krill) were eating microplastics and that there was no correlation between the amount of microplastics eaten and the amount in the seawater (Desforges et al. 2015). In the second study, scientists determined that very few forage fish, sand lance (1.5%) and herring (2.0%), had eaten microplastics (Hipfner et al. 2018). This research also suggested that larger forage fish are less likely to consume plastic. Together, these studies indicate that zooplankton and forage fish are most likely NOT conduits for indirect plastic consumption in salmon on the outer coast of British Columbia.

As was mentioned previously, very little is known about the impacts of marine plastics on salmon either through direct consumption or via their food (pers. comm. A. Spanjer 2019). The first and only field study regarding plastic consumption rates by salmon in the Salish Sea determined juvenile Chinook consume an average of 1.15 microplastic pieces per day (Collicutt et al. 2018). At this rate of consumption, it is unlikely to lead to significant mortality events. This study also found no significant relationship between the amount of microplastics found in seawater and sediment compared to the amount consumed by the juvenile Chinook. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is currently doing a laboratory-based study examining how long polyester fiber is retained in the gut of juvenile Chinook after consumption, but that research is currently ongoing (pers. comm. A. Spanjer 2019).

Based on the available research investigating marine plastic effects on zooplankton and fish, we can conclude that marine plastics do not currently pose a significant threat to salmon survival in the Salish Sea. However, marine plastics will continue to persist as pollution on land and in our oceans if we do not take action to reduce them. Ellen MacArthur with the World Economic Forum estimated that the world’s oceans will have more plastic than fish by 2050. Whether her estimate is accurate or not, we can all do our part to help reduce plastic pollution. Please see below for a list of five ways you can reduce marine plastic pollution:

  1. Join a beach cleanup – Puget Soundkeeper Alliance and The Surfrider Foundation are frequently hosting beach and lake cleanups to reduce the amount of debris in our waterways.
  2. Remember your reusable containers – Actively using your reusable water bottle, coffee mug, or to-go containers will not only reduce plastic but can save you money in the long run.
  3. Buy microbead-free products –Microbeads are too tiny to be filtered out at the wastewater treatment facility. Buying personal products that do not contain microbeads will reduce the amount of microplastics entering our oceans.
  4. Reduce clothes washing – When we wash our clothes, they shed microfibers that do not get filtered out, like microbeads. By reducing how often we wash our clothes, we can lower the number of microfibers that are being released. We’re not saying wear dirty clothes, but if you can, wear items more than once and choose natural fiber clothing (these fibers will biodegrade over time).
  5. Make informed decisions – As consumers, we can make conscientious decisions about the products we buy and the companies we support. This can take the form of buying items in bulk rather than individually wrapped items, as well as the packaging our purchases come in. By being aware of how much plastic your household generates, you can find ways to reduce it and ultimately lower your carbon footprint. 

 

Work Cited

Ašmonaitė, G., Larsson, K., Undeland, I., Sturve, J., Almroth, B.E. 2018. Size matters: Ingestion of relatively large microplastics contaminated with environmental pollutants posed little risk for fish health and fillet quality. Environ. Sci. Technol., 52: 14381 – 14391.

Bucci, K., Tulio, M., Rochman, C.M. 2019. What is known and unknown about the effects of plastic pollution: A meta-analysis and systematic review. Ecological Society of America, doi:10.1002/eap.2044.

Cole, M., Lindeque, P., Fileman, E., Halsband, C., Goodhead, R., Moger, J., Galloway, T.S. 2013. Microplastic ingestion by zooplankton. Environ. Sci. Technol.,47: 6646 – 6655.

Collicutt, B., Juanes, F., Dudas, S.E. 2019. Microplastics in juvenile Chinook salmon and their nearshore environments on the east coast of Vancouver Island. Environmental Pollution, 244: 135 – 142.

Desforges, J.W., Galbraith, M., Dangerfield, N., Ross, P.S. 2014. Widespread distribution of microplastics in subsurface seawater in the NE Pacific Ocean. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 79: 94 – 99.

Desforges, J.W., Galbraith, M., Ross, P.S. 2015. Ingestion of microplastics by zooplankton in the Northeast Pacific Ocean. Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol., 69: 320 – 330.

Gall, S.C. and Thompson, R.C. 2015. The impact of debris on marine life. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 92: 170 – 179.

Hipfner, J.M., Galbraith, M., Tucker, S., Studholme, K.R., Domalik, A.D., Pearson, S.F., Good, T.P., Ross, P.S., Hodum, P. 2018. Two forage fishes as potential conduits for the vertical transfer of microfibres in Northeastern Pacific Ocean food webs. Environmental Pollution, 239: 215 – 222.

Rochman, C.M., Hoh, E., Kurobe, T., Teh, S.J. 2013. Ingested plastic transfers hazardous chemicals to fish and induces hepatic stress. Scientific Reports, 3: 3263.

Stossel Creek ridge

Climate Adaptation Reforestation Project: Stossel Creek

Long Live the Kings and Seattle City Light have been proud partners in salmon recovery since LLTK’s inception. Together, we power projects around our region that help salmon and steelhead overcome the many challenges they face. This most recent City Light project in Stossel Creek is just the type of work we want to see our private, public, and nonprofit partners coming together to accomplish.

In 2015, Seattle City Light purchased and is in the process of restoring a 154-acre property along Stossel Creek, a tributary to the Tolt River in eastern King County, Washington. City Light purchased the property as part of its proactive Endangered Species Act Land Program, which purchases property containing important habitat for endangered and threatened fish species. This program was established by the City of Seattle in 1999 under Resolution 29905 to help restore and protect habitat for fish protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Stossel Creek is a tributary in the Snohomish River watershed approximately 30 miles east of Seattle, which provides important habitat for ESA-threatened steelhead and coho salmon. The City Light property contains over 3,500 feet of Stossel Creek as well as an additional 1,300 feet of an unnamed creek and wetlands. Steelhead and coho spend a significant portion of their life as juveniles in streams, so protecting or improving the creek habitat on the property can improve the water quality of the creek as well as the river.

Stossel Creek site overviewThe previous owner logged portions of the Stossel Creek property in 2012, which had not been replanted at the time of purchase. Erosion from the logged areas and dirt access roads may contribute sediment to streams where it can smother steelhead and coho redds, killing the eggs, or get trapped in fish gills, impairing breathing. Thus, key objectives in purchasing the property were to protect the wetlands, soils, and streamside vegetation and to reforest logged portions of the site. Trees provide shade that maintains cool water temperatures in streams and associated wetlands, a critical need particularly in the summer months. Trees also provide habitat for insects that are a food source to both fish species.

City Light looked for outside funding to aid with replanting the site, and in doing so developed a unique partnership with Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, Northwest Natural Resource Group, and Seattle Public Utilities (the Partners), to apply for and receive a grant from the Wildlife Conservation Society, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, as well as funds from Carter Subaru of King County.  As the Partners planned the replanting of the Stossel Creek property with the objective of reforesting the site, they took the long view of how the climate will change as the site matures. As climate changes, so too will ecosystems that are shaped by it. The Partners in this project used this understanding to plan a forest restoration project that takes into account the expected changes in climate to ultimately result in a more complex and resilient forest structure by the end of the century. Rather than reforest in a traditional way, this Stossel Creek site was planted using a climate-adapted approach.

Stossel Creek site overviewThe Partners’ approach included planting tree seedlings from seed sources originating from southwestern Oregon and northern California, where the climate is similar to the warmer and drier summer climate expected at the Stossel Creek site during the mid to late 21st century. These seedlings were planted alongside locally sourced Douglas-fir and Western redcedar. A total of seven different tree species native to the Pacific Northwest, both deciduous and coniferous, were planted to provide relatively high species diversity. This method increases the functional redundancy of a forest – meaning, forest resilience that comes from multiple species from different taxonomic groups playing similar roles in the ecosystem. Plantings were located away from natural regeneration and grouped by associations suitable for local site conditions such as soil type and aspect. Trees were planted in a wider spacing than traditional methods to decrease the potential for competition during future droughts. These strategies were designed to increase the chances for long-term success of the forested landscape on the Stossel Creek property. Success will be determined through at least a decade of monitoring of tree health and survival within established monitoring plots.

The climate-adapted reforestation of the Stossel Creek property is a novel project designed to explore new replanting strategies that intentionally account for climate change. Through an innovative public-private partnership, this project demonstrates the use of new tools and approaches to restoring and conserving natural resources available today, with the ultimate goal of establishing a resilient forest into the foreseeable future and ameliorating expected climate impacts to aquatic habitat. Demonstrating and recognizing the role of these practices in creating more-resilient forests can help land managers plan and implement more comprehensive approaches to forest restoration and, in this case, fish habitat protection as the climate changes.

Links to film coverage:

https://www.king5.com/article/news/local/seattle-pilot-project-planting-trees-that-can-adapt-to-global-warming/281-575731931

https://www.king5.com/article/tech/science/environment/new-forest-climate-change/281-49507137-bc9f-4874-b6d6-a662222f08f9

$13M in Federal Funding Dedicated to Fish-Friendly Fixes at the Ballard Locks

Over the last year, Long Live the Kings has been forging new partnerships and making new connections up and down the Lake Washington Ship Canal. We’re part of a loose coalition of diverse interests: commercial fishing companies, boat maintenance yards, the Port of Seattle, American Waterway Operators and the Lake Washington-Cedar-Sammamish Watershed Salmon Recovery Council, among others, working to ensure that the Ballard Locks get the attention and funding they deserve to remain open and facilitate safe fish migration.

What is the issue at the Locks?

The large Locks chamber during an annual clean-out.

For anadromous fish like salmon, the Ballard Locks represent the biggest barrier in the watershed. All salmon have to navigate the Locks to go to the ocean and return to spawn, running the gauntlet of 100-year-old machinery and a patchwork of workarounds. The fish ladder functions as it should for returning adults, but as they travel through the large and small Locks, they risk injury by getting pulled into saltwater drains. The small salmon smolts (outmigrating juveniles) face even more danger. They “go with the flow” and end up exiting the Locks one of two ways: the lucky smolts exit via slides or flumes installed by the Army Corps of Engineers for safer passage, while the unlucky ones get sucked into the filling tunnels and scraped along rough, barnacle-covered walls – more on that and photos below!

Barnacle-encrusted filling tunnels inside the large Locks. These rough surfaces can badly injure or even kill small fish.

Managers have known about these issues since a plan to recover Chinook was written in 2005. The Army Corps of Engineers partnered with the Salmon Recovery Council  to  make temporary fixes and minor improvements, but funding for permanent fixes and improvements for passage was the primary barrier (no pun intended).  The erroneous notion in Washington DC had been that the Ballard Locks were largely a recreational and tourist amenity, and so we were unable to access maintenance dollars when competing with the big, commerce-moving infrastructure of the Mississippi or even the Columbia River facilities. Thanks to our new Ship Canal partners, that notion was put to rest when they commissioned a study to demonstrate the huge value of the Locks, which provide a freshwater port on Puget Sound for the Alaskan Fishing fleet and an entire maritime industry. They estimated over $1.2 billion in annual economic losses to the maritime industry alone if the Locks were to fail. We credit this study as catalyzing our coalition of partners who welcomed the “salmon interests” into their fold and together we worked with the Washington congressional delegation and every level of US Army Corps of Engineers to make the problem and solution well understood.

What is the solution?

Tour attendees standing in front of the old large locks filling tunnel gate. The list of necessary upgrades for the Locks includes replacing this gate.

The solution is a suite of projects for the 101-year-old structure, making a series of necessary upgrades and replacements to ensure the continued operation of the Locks while also improving survival of juvenile and adult migrating salmon. This series of projects will take several years to complete and we will need to keep up the pressure to fund them and see it through. The project that benefits fish most happens to be the first project on the list, so it won’t be long before we see a benefit to sockeye, Chinook, and coho salmon. The project entails replacing the valves and machinery of the ‘filling culvert’ mentioned earlier: a huge tunnel that moves lake water into the large lock to fill it during a lockage (when a vessel is raised or lowered to the the appropriate water level). The upgrades allow the culvert gates to open and close at different speeds to slow the velocity of water entering the locks during the smolt outmigration. This improvement, along with the smolt slides and flumes that you see as you walk across the dam at the Locks, should markedly increase the number of smolts that experience safe passage from the Ship Canal to Puget Sound.

Very importantly, the overall safety and functionality of the Locks is being improved. Last year’s funding was approved to replace a crane for the emergency closure system. Now the large Lock filling mechanism marks the project with the highest price tag on the list. Future projects involve seismic retrofits and a new screen on the saltwater drain so fish don’t get entrained (stuck) there.

There is more to do but let’s take a minute to celebrate this victory for fish and infrastructure in Puget Sound!

What can you do?

  • Help us thank our Congressional leaders, especially Senator Patty Murray and Rep. Pramila Jayapal.
  • Want to tour the large Locks and filling tunnel? Every year the Army Corps of Engineers empties each Lock at different times and conducts a series of safety checks and tests. They also scrape barnacles from inside the filling tunnel. The public can sign up to join a tour. Sign up here.
  • Support LLTK to help advocate for salmon and steelhead in Olympia and Washington DC. Most of our grant funds can’t be used for this sort of effort, so we rely on individual donors to be able to leverage partnerships, meet with elected officials, and be a voice for salmon.

Cover image courtesy of: By Unknown Photographer / US Army Corps of Engineers – [1], Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=480030

All other images courtesy of Eric Hall, ehall Photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ehall/ 

Seattle Times: Salmon migration lessons like fantasy football for fish, with 2,000 classrooms playing

Education Lab engagement editor
Image: Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times

To raise awareness about high mortality rates for steelhead and salmon in Puget Sound waters, “Survive the Sound” invites students to track juvenile steelhead as they travel to the ocean from their freshwater homes.

Just a few paces from the front entrance to Cascadia Elementary School, dozens of baby salmon dart around in a large, bubbling tank. But for a class of 28 second-graders down the hall, a cartoon juvenile steelhead named “Fishy McFishface” is stealing the show.

For the past week, teacher Gary Bass Jr. has used Fishy — an alias for a real fish that’s been fitted with a surgically implanted tracking device — to teach his students about the obstacle-ridden journey from the river to the ocean that most Puget Sound steelhead die trying to complete.

“Should we check in on our fish?” Bass asked just after the morning bell on a recent school day. The students gave a cheer and scurried to the front of the classroom as Bass pulled up a website on a projection screen.

To the left of a map of Puget Sounds waters, a panel showed a leaderboard with 47 other fish, the migration mascots for the nearly 2,000 classrooms, most of them in Washington, that are participating in “Survive the Sound” this year.

Created by salmon-conservation nonprofit Long Live the Kings, Survive the Sound became a supplement to salmon and steelhead curricula somewhat accidentally. Described as a sort of fantasy football for fish, the initiative started during last year’s steelhead migration.

Continue Reading at Seattle Times.

Image caption: Cascadia Elementary School teacher Gary Bass Jr. answers questions at the end of a lesson about salmon and steelhead migration to the Puget Sound. Bass also works writing and math into his “Survive the Sound” lesson plan.