Restoration of salt marsh shoreline within the

 

Dabob Bay Natural Area

 

Report to the US Fish and Wildlife Service

Port Townsend Leader newspaper article on the completion of the Tarboo Bay restoration project on Hood Canal
Peninsula Daily News article on the Tarboo Bay project

Tarboo Bay Fact Sheet (USFWS)

 

Dabob Bay Progress Reports

September 2014

 

Since 2001, Northwest Watershed Institute (NWI) has been working with over 30 organizations and agencies, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and The Nature Conservancy to protect and restore Tarboo-Dabob Bay, one of the largest and least developed salt marsh estuaries remaining in Puget Sound. In 2009, DNR expanded the Dabob Bay Natural Area’s proposed boundaries from 280 acres to 6,284 acres of saltmarsh and forested shorelines around the bay to better protect the estuarine ecosystem.

 

Since then DNR, NWI and other partners have been acquiring land from willing landowners and restoring properties where needed. The grant from PMEP will restore a high priority shoreline property scheduled for purchase by NWI in May of 2014. The acquisition, using federal and state funds, will protect 1,200 feet of saltmarsh and forest shoreline of critical juvenile rearing habitat by federally Threatened Hood Canal summer chum salmon and Puget Sound Chinook. NWI is restoring the property by removal of a residential site, including complete removal of a bulkhead, fill, and house built over the wetlands and decommissioning of a well and septic system during the summer of 2014, as well as removal of invasive ivy and scots broom. NWI will then re-vegetate the restoration site with native species in January of 2015.

 

The nearly ¼ mile of nearshore tidelands and saltmarsh fringed shoreline on this parcel is documented habitat for a diversity of fish species, including juvenile Hood Canal summer chum salmon and Puget Sound Chinook salmon, both federally listed as Threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. The site also provides important nearshore habitat for coastal cutthroat trout, fall chum salmon, Hood Canal coho salmon (federal candidate species), and steelhead (federally Threatened) all of which return to Tarboo Bay and spawn in Tarboo Creek, the main freshwater stream that feeds Tarboo-Dabob Bay.  This fish use information is based on intensive nearshore fish surveys of Tarboo-Dabob Bay conducted by NWI and the Port Townsend Marine Science Center in 2004 (see NWI website, reports), as well as state and NWI spawning surveys.

 

The project will be considered a success if the restoration goals of complete removal of the residential site, fill, bulkhead and access road, and invasive plants is accomplished and the restored site is on a trajectory to match the native plant composition of the adjacent undisturbed portions of the shoreline. This will be evaluated through visual and photo-point monitoring.

 

The Dabob Bay conservation effort has received strong public support, including support from the Jefferson County Commissioners, four Tribes that share treaty reserved resources in this area, local residents of Dabob Bay, and shellfish growers that depend on Dabob Bay for clean water. The proposed project is one of several that NWI has undertaken in recent years with strong community support

Overhead shot of Tarboo-Dabob Bay Overhead shot of Tarboo-Dabob Bay. Credit: Washington Department of Ecology

Project protects 1/4 mile of salt marsh and riparian forest shoreline

View north of Tarboo-Dabob Bay. Photo credit: Lowell Jons.
Bulkhead and backfill to be removed as part of restoration Project protects 1/4 mile of salt marsh and riparian forest shoreline. Photo credit: Northwest Watershed Institute.
Juvenile Hood Canal summer chum, federally listed as Threatened, will benefit from additional rearing habitat in Tarboo Bay Bulkhead and backfill to be removed as part of restoration. Photo credit: Northwest Watershed Institute.
Juvenile Hood Canal summer chum, federally listed as Threatened, will benefit from additional rearing habitat in Tarboo Bay Juvenile Hood Canal summer chum, federally listed as Threatened, will benefit from additional rearing habitat in Tarboo Bay. Photo credit: Northwest Watershed Institute.

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