In Seattle, we had a tour of habitat restoration efforts along the shorefront. Metropolitan Seattle occupies a series of estuaries, and these are almost entirely altered from their natural state. Wetlands have been filled, banks stabilized with riprap, and channels deepened and straightened. Brackish estuarine habitat traditionally is where salmon smolt pause and adapt to salt water before entering the sea, so efforts are being made to restore some of the wetlands that provide food and shelter to the young salmon in this critical point in their lives. Below, a restored wetland must be protected with string to prevent geese from devouring the plants.
Dr. Jeff Cordell (U. Washington Fisheries) and his graduate student and Albion Alumna Melora Hass lead the trip. Below Dr. Cordell shows students one of the few areas with remaining natural vegetation. This is important as a model for restored areas.