Olympia is a special place, not just because of our vibrant arts and music community but also because our city straddles the Deschutes Estuary and Budd Inlet - one of the most productive ecosystems for juvenile salmon in Puget Sound.
- Budd Inlet and the Deschutes Estuary are the beating heart of Puget Sound. Approximately 75% of juvenile salmon in Budd Inlet come from the Puyallup (Tacoma) and Green River (Seattle) Watersheds, making the health of Budd Inlet critical to restoring salmon runs throughout the region and indeed the State.
Restore the Deschutes Estuary
Our colleagues at the Deschutes Estuary Restoration Team have put together this excellent video, explaining why we should remove the 5th avenue dam.
Restore Budd Inlet
- All six major streams that let into Budd Inlet in Olympia (Indian, Schneider, Mission, Ellis, Butler, and Adams) are below Ecology standards. Percival Creek and Capital Lake are both substandard.
- These critical habitats with their upland shoreline forests work together as a single ecosystem and are the weak link in restoring healthy salmon runs to the South Sound.
- All of these areas are threatened by development. Many of the creeks have extensive sections within culverts which blocks natural processes that would reduce nitrogen content and increase dissolved oxygen.
- These areas need not only to be preserved and restored but also in many cases re-wilded. The West Bay shoreline is an example of a long-destroyed habitat that is projected to be underwater by 2050 and that must be re-created to provide clean healthy water to Budd Inlet. Re-creation of the Deschutes Estuary is another example.
- Olympia is a case where restoration will have immediate impact on the health of Puget Sound.
- The urban area of Olympia is a challenging intersection of public and private interests. For that reason, and due to the relatively high cost of land, companion land trusts are focused on rural properties. We appreciate their decision and we applaud their work. However, we strongly believe that the deep South Sound cannot recover without facing the challenging land-use issues that determine water quality in our city.
- We further recognize that our human community is enriched by and defined by our relationship to the wilderness in our midst. Thus, we also recognize that conservation and restoration of habitat is equally about our quality of life and that of our children.