Do you know these groups?

You know that DERT is working to restore the Deschutes River Estuary. But do you know these 7 groups that are protecting the south Puget Sound and its watersheds?

At our first 2018 community forum – What’s up with Budd? – DERT was honored to have the following 7 groups join us.

Check out these groups and the important work they do but don’t forget to sign up for DERT’s weekly email where we announce opportunities to volunteer, get involved, and further DERT’s mission to restore the Deschutes River Estuary.

Squaxin Island Tribe – People of the water

The Squaxin Island Tribe is a sovereign nation of the people who are the descendants of the maritime people who lived along the shores and watersheds of the seven southernmost inlets of Puget Sound. Today most of us know the inlet that the Deschutes River flows into as Budd Inlet but its original name and the name used by the Squaxin Island Tribe is Steh-chass.

DERT asked the Squaxin Island Tribe for their permission to use the name Steh-Chass for our 2018 festival of the Steh-chass. We are honored to have our request granted by the Squaxin Island Tribe.

The Squaxin Island Tribe is a major supporter of the work DERT does and we are proud to have them as a partner.

Nisqually Tribe – People of the river, people of the grass

The Nisqually Tribe is a sovereign nation of the people who for 10,000 years have lived in relative peace and prosperity in their aboriginal homeland of about 2 million acres near the present-day towns of Olympia, Tenino, and Dupont, and extending to Mount Rainier.

Today the Nisqually Tribe are the prime stewards of the Nisqually River fisheries resources which includes protecting the south Puget Sound waters. We are proud to have them as a partner in our efforts to restore the Deschutes River Estuary.

Salmon Defense

In honor of Billy Frank Jr.’s life and legacy, Salmon Defense manages the Billy Frank Jr. Salmon Forever Fund. The mission of this trust is to honor and create permanence and action to the vision and work of Billy Frank Jr.

The Billy Frank Jr. Salmon Forever Fund provides funding for educational scholarships, restoration projects, legal challenges on behalf of the salmon, and education projects.

Salmon Defense also gives out an annual award to individuals or organizations that have demonstrated leadership and commitment to the environment through collaborative problem solving.

Salmon Defense is also our partner for the upcoming Festival of the Steh-Chass.

Thurston Conservation District

As a non-regulatory agency, Thurston Conservation District strives to conserve and sustain the beneficial use and protection of local natural resources through partnerships with the County’s rural, agricultural, and urban communities, as well as local, state, federal, and tribal agencies.

Example of services that they provide to landowners and the community are:

  • Conservation planning
  • Equipment rental
  • Soil testing
  • South Sound GREEN – student environmental education program
  • Annual native plant sale

At the time of this blog post Thurston Conservation District is electing a new member for their board of supervisors. This is a public election like any other regular election though ballots are not automatically mailed out. For more information visit the official election site for Thurston Conservation District.

South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group (SPSSEG)

SPSSEG’s mission is to Protect and restore salmon populations and aquatic habitat with an emphasis on ecosystem function through scientifically informed projects, community education, and volunteer involvement.

To achieve this mission, SPSSEG runs restoration projects, education and outreach events, and salmon viewing at the Kennedy Creek Salmon Trail.

Two of their restoration projects have been in the Deschutes River WRIA 13 (Water Resource Inventory Area):

  1. Beachcrest Estuary completed in 2010.
  2. Lower McLane LWD (large woody debris) installation and planting in 2017.

SPSSEG has been a regular support of DERT’s efforts to restore the Deschutes River Estuary and we are happy to have their support.

Olympia Coalition for Ecosystem Preservation

The Olympia Coalition for Ecosystems Preservation (OlyEcosystems) was established to protect, preserve, and restore the diverse ecosystems of Olympia, Washington that include the freshwater, shoreline, tidal waters, and upland forests that are home to the Pacific Great Blue Heron, cutthroat trout, salmon, and companion species.

OlyEcosystems focuses on the urban environment within Olympia. They have had success protecting habitat for Pacific Great Blue Heron through their conservation of the West Bay Woods Heronry.

OlyEcosystems is a regular supporter of DERT and our efforts to restore the Deschutes River Estuary.

Puget Soundkeeper’s Alliance

Soundkeeper’s mission is to protect and preserve the waters of Puget Sound.

They achieve this by:

  • Monitoring the waters of Puget Sound for pollution.
  • Enforcing the Clean Water Act through legal action.
  • Engagement with business, government agencies and Puget Sound communities.
  • Stopping pollution at the source by partnering with businesses to reduce pollution and host cleanup and education events to involve community members in caring for Puget Sound.

What can you do to support DERT?

Now that you have learned a bit about these awesome groups we hope you will check them out. But we also need your help to restore the Deschutes River Estuary.

To learn more about how to help DERT in our efforts please sign up for our mailing list where we announce opportunities to volunteer, get involved, and further DERT’s mission to restore the Deschutes River Estuary.

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