Washington Coast Restoration & Resiliency Initiative
Sustainable Rural Jobs | Resilient Coastal Communities | World-class Natural Resources
Riparian Acres Restored
With WCRRI support, the Quileute Tribe is leading restoration of salmon habitat and protecting critical infrastructure and cultural resources in the lower Quillayute River. Photo: Dwayne Pecosky
Restoration for a Resilient Coast
Washington’s coastal communities are built on our forests, rivers, and estuaries. The health and well-being of our communities are tied to the health of our land and waters and the fish and wildlife they support. Median household incomes are lower and unemployment rates are higher in coastal counties than the Washington state average. The Washington Coast Restoration & Resiliency Initiative (WCRRI) ensures family-wage rural jobs, resilient coastal communities, clean water, healthy forests, and sustainable fisheries.
Local Knowledge & Cutting-edge Science
The Washington Coast Restoration & Resiliency Initiative pairs local partners with scientific experts to ensure long-term success in coastal watersheds. Partners develop projects based on local knowledge of the restoration and community needs and use scientific principles to restore healthy habitats for fish and wildlife and to reduce threats to coastal communities. Forward-thinking projects bring multiple solutions such as improved fish passage and reduced flood damage, reconnected flood plains and reduced bank erosion, restored native plants and reduced nutrient runoff in forests, prairies, and wetlands.
Fish barrier culvert replacements funded by WCRRI are designed to withstand future stream flows. The Grays Harbor Conservation District worked with the landowner to replace undersized barrier culverts and construct a bridge that opens access to more than nine miles of salmon habitat while protecting the road infrastructure from future flooding. Photo: Alice Rubin
The Nature Conservancy has leveraged WCRRI funds with other public and private funds to conduct watershed-scale forest restoration at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve in southwest Washington. The work at Ellsworth Creek protects existing old-growth forest, improves habitat for fish and wildlife, and serves as a hub for restoration science while providing forestry jobs for the local communities. Photo: Lauren Owens
Local Success with Region-wide Impact
Since 2015, the Washington Coast Restoration and Resiliency Initiative has invested $34 million on the Washington coast and leveraged $6 million in existing federal, local, and private resources. Restoration is real business for coastal communities. Eighty cents of every restoration dollar invested stays in the county where a project is located. Projects funded through WCRRI have employed everyone from young adults to veterans to former loggers and connected a trained, local work force with the lands and waters being restored.
Benefits That Will Last Generations
The Washington Coast Restoration & Resiliency Initiative funds projects from Neah Bay to the lower Columbia River and builds self-sustaining ecosystems for the future. We already see the payoff of these investments through sustained cultural traditions and livelihoods, reduced flood damage, improved roads and bridges, and expanded recreational opportunities. This work invests in the future of our communities and makes the coastal ecosystems more resilient in the face of a changing climate. The investment in restoration will have benefits that last for generations.
WCRRI funding prevents the spread of invasive plants such as Scotch broom that are harmful to forest growth in uplands and along rivers. Invasive plants affect forestry, increase wildfire risk, reduce carbon sequestration, and alter habitat for fish and wildlife. Pulling Together in Restoration removes invasive plants across the western Olympic Peninsula while employing young adults from rural communities who are entering the workforce for the first time. Photo: 10,000 Years Institute