Imagine a river brimming with abundant wild salmon stocks. Imagine healthy, clean streams for our children to explore and play in. Imagine robust riparian forests full of fecundity.
Twenty-five years ago a group of dedicated volunteers set out to make such a vision a reality. The founders of Sound Salmon Solutions rallied around a mission that engages in community-based salmon recovery as part of a larger response to Endangered Species Act listings of local chinook and coho salmon stocks. In addition to habitat restoration projects, educating the public on wetland ecology and the importance of stewardship were also deemed key to ensuring the future of salmon in the Stillaguamish, Snohomish and Island County watersheds.
Over the years the work has progressed and evolved. With the help of hundreds of smiling volunteers and students of all ages, our organization has made significant progress towards realizing the founders’ vision. Some of the accomplishments include: nearly a million fish released in local waters, numerous fish passage projects that opened miles of habitat, over 40 miles of river restored (including placement of large woody debris to increase habitat complexity), over 175 acres planted with more than 150,000 native trees and shrubs, thousands of carcasses distributed (returning ocean-based nutrients to local ecosystems), and over 15,000 students have learned about the salmon life-cycle through hands-on lessons and field trips that include service projects.
If you have been or are currently a supporter, a volunteer or a student in one of our programs, we would like to hear from you. Please take a few minutes to visit our website, www.soundsalmonsolutions.org, and blog page to complete our survey. We are interested in knowing what motivated you to be involved with our organization. To commemorate our 25th anniversary you can participate in our Give 5 in 2015 campaign by making a $5 donation, volunteering five hours one Saturday or sharing with five friends who we are and what we do. Even if it has been awhile or you have yet to join us at a Saturday work party, please know we would welcome your involvement. The success of our next 25 years requires a new generation of supporters, volunteers and students. Can we count on you to be one of them?
Robert Sendrey is the executive director for Sound Salmon Solutions. He lives in Lake Stevens.