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Information Related to Puget Sound Partnership and Federally Recognized Puget Sound Tribes and Tribal Consortia
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Swinomish Indian Tribe

FY17 Project
Evaluating juvenile Dungeness crab habitat limitations in Swinomish management regions; Habitat Status and Trends Monitoring for Skagit Salmon and Steelhead Recovery

Project Summary

The Swinomish Indian Tribe will engage in two projects: (1) Dungeness crab are an important species in Puget Sound because they not only provide a lucrative commercial fishery co-managed by Washington State and tribes, but they also fill a critical ecological role in marine and estuarine food webs. Despite the obvious economic importance of this species, very little research has been done with regard to the early life stages of Dungeness crab in Puget Sound and even less within the Whidbey Basin region of the Sound. Gaining a better understanding of larval supply and juvenile survival across southern San Juan and northern Whidbey Basins could have far-reaching implications for continued successful management of this essential fishery. This information will also provide valuable baseline data to inform future management practices as environmental conditions change; (2) The status and trends of habitat critical to Skagit salmon and steelhead populations is not generally or systematically known. Without habitat status and trends monitoring data, it can only be an opinion as to whether all salmon habitat (i.e., restored and existing) is gained or lost over time. This proposal will remove absence of habitat monitoring data as an excuse for varied opinion. The Tribe will develop habitat monitoring protocols and measure habitat indicators linked to the quantified habitat objectives described in the Skagit Chinook Recovery Plan. Measured habitat indicator methods focus on GIS census protocols to reduce uncertainty in results following established protocols. Habitat indicators are measured over the geographic extent utilized by juvenile Skagit Chinook salmon over all life stages including: spawning and egg incubation, freshwater rearing, estuary rearing, and nearshore rearing.

 

Project Reports

FY15 Project
Skagit Floodplain LIDAR Acquisition

Project Summary

The Swinomish Indian Tribe, assisted by the Skagit River System Cooperative & through USGS’s  3D Elevation Program (3DEP), will start a new project that will acquire high-resolution LiDAR in the Skagit River floodplain and tributaries inhabited by steelhead.  Through collaboration with other agencies, Swinomish efforts are amplified and spatial overlap is omitted– resulting in the high-resolution LiDAR coverage of the Skagit basin that could not be afforded by any one agency alone.

LiDAR could be put to many uses in the Skagit, by the tribes and many others.  The Skagit River System Cooperative (SRSC), a natural resources affiliate of the Swinomish and Sauk-Suiattle tribes, would use LiDAR as a basis for the steelhead recovery plan currently under development, and for writing updates to the existing Skagit Chinook recovery plan (SRSC & WDFW 2005). High resolution LiDAR models would allow a riparian analysis of shade and large wood contribution to streams. LiDAR maps, particularly of existing and former side channels on the floodplain, greatly enhance the planning, prioritization, and grant funding of instream restoration projects. Similarly, LiDAR data could be used to delineate the Skagit floodplain and channel migration zone (CMZ), and lead to better implementation of the FEMA BiOp for chinook habitat protection. LiDAR data could be used to more accurately delineate small streams and agricultural ditches, to better regulate water rights, irrigation withdrawals, and water quality impacts in Skagit lowlands. By collaborating with other agencies, a more complete LiDAR map of the Skagit basin would allow studies on dwindling snowpack, glacial retreat, climate change, sea level rise, coastal change detection, and many other uses both on reservation and off.

Project Reports

FY14 Project
Swinomish Shellfish Program; Tribal Journey Water Quality Project – Year 5

Project Summary
The Swinomish Indian Tribe will engage in two projects: (1) build upon existing shellfish restoration and research programs at Swinomish through the advancement of shellfish habitat and population dynamics research. They will examine the hydrodynamics that drive larval transport and post-settlement survival of shellfish species and target future shellfish restoration based on survey results; and (2) engaging in the 2015 Tribal Water Quality Project, an ongoing project to gather water quality data across the Salish Sea during the annual Inter-tribal Canoe Journey, in order to map out spatial patterns at multiple scales to detect large-scale oceanographic/climate and site-scale land-use influences. While no Tribes or First Nations have stepped forward to host the Journey in 2015, outreach materials and presentations will be developed and water quality monitoring will continue via canoe practice day trips.

Project Reports

FY13 Project
Swinomish Shellfish Program; Tribal Journey Water Quality Project – Year 4

Project Summary

The Swinomish Indian Tribe will engage in two projects: (1) build upon existing shellfish restoration and research programs at Swinomish through the advancement of shellfish habitat and population dynamics research. They will examine the hydrodynamics that drive larval transport and post-settlement survival of shellfish species and target future shellfish restoration based on survey results; and (2) engaging in the 2014 Tribal Water Quality Project, an ongoing project to gather water quality data across the Salish Sea during the annual Inter-tribal Canoe Journey, in order to map out spatial patterns at multiple scales to detect large-scale oceanographic/climate and site-scale land-use influences.

Project Reports

FY12 Project
Non-Point Pollution Public Information and Education Initiative – Year 3 & Tribal Journey Water Quality Project – Year 3

Project Summary
The Swinomish Indian Tribe will continue to engage in two projects: (1) implementing a public education effort that will be directed at decision makers and stakeholders to improve the standards and implementation of best management practices, and to increase the level of regulatory certainty that instream resources will be protected, consistent with the Skagit Chinook Recovery Plan; and (2) engaging in the 2013 Tribal Water Quality Project, an ongoing project to gather water quality data across the Salish Sea during the annual Inter-tribal Canoe Journey, in order to map out spatial patterns at multiple scales to detect large-scale oceanographic/climate and site-scale land-use influences.

Project Reports

FY11 Project
Non-Point Pollution Public Information and Education Initiative; Tribal Journey Water Quality Project

Project Summary
The Swinomish Indian Tribe will continue to engage in two projects: (1) implementing a public education effort that will be directed at decision makers and stakeholders to improve the standards and implementation of best management practices, and to increase the level of regulatory certainty that instream resources will be protected, consistent with the Skagit Chinook Recovery Plan; and (2) engaging in the 2012 Tribal Water Quality Project, an ongoing project to gather water quality data across the Salish Sea during the annual Tribal Canoe Journey, in order to map out spatial patterns at multiple scales to detect large-scale oceanographic/climate and site-scale land-use influences.

Project Reports

FY10 Project
Non-Point Pollution Public Information and Education Initiative; Tribal Journey Water Quality Project

Project Summary
The Swinomish Indian Tribe will engage in two projects: (1) a public education effort that will be directed at decision makers and stakeholders to improve the standards and implementation of best management practices, and to increase the level of regulatory certainty that instream resources will be protected, consistent with the Skagit Chinook Recovery Plan; and (2) the Tribal Water Quality Project, an ongoing project to gather water quality data across the Salish Sea during the Tribal Canoe Journey, in order to map out spatial patterns at multiple scales to detect large-scale oceanographic/climate and site-scale land-use influences.

Project Reports

FY08 Project
Swinomish Action Agenda Project

Project Summary
This project addresses implementation of the Skagit Chinook Recovery Plan and the Puget Sound Action Plan in the Skagit Delta and Whidbey Basin Nearshore basins by initiating implementation toward four goals: (1) Supporting the development of an adaptive management framework for the Whidbey basin, incorporating science from the Skagit, Island and other Whidbey Basis Lead Entity areas; (2) Improving shoreline protection by developing a lower river assessment of cumulative impacts from dike construction and maintenance; (3) Conducting feasibility work on a levee setback project on Fir Island; and (4) Determining key health indicators of tribal human health concerns as they relate to the health of Puget Sound and its natural resources for inclusion in Puget Sound Partnership action agenda.

Project Reports

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