The Nooksack River Stewards Program provides watershed education, stewardship and citizen science opportunities to residents, visitors, and recreational users of the Nooksack River, which benefits water quality and habitat for native fish. This program fills a need in Whatcom County to build comradery between upriver and downriver residents and promote an understanding of their collective watershed. Through innovative, collaborative outreach with several key partners, the Nooksack River Stewards Program provides hands-on opportunities for all ages to learn about river ecology, native anadromous fish, and the various ways to minimize negative impacts on the Nooksack River, while enjoying this special place. A strong outreach component will be targeted towards recreational visitors such as tubing groups which often leave behind harmful trash and debris, and cause habitat degradation, including heavy streambank erosion; all of which leads to increased stress on listed fish species. Grant funding will help defray an educational information booth hosted every Friday – Sunday, strategically placed at the US Forest Service Public Service Center in the town of Glacier in order to connect with visitors as they explore the Nooksack River and/or continue into the North Cascades National Park. Grant funding will also help defray targeted signage and river cleanup events, working with the local community of Acme and the South Fork Community Group. Grant funding will also support interpretive river walks, informational tours to view spawning salmon and investigate the importance of healthy habitat and water quality. Interpretive guides connect these habitat characteristic studies to community impacts and solutions. These opportunities provide a critical connection between local scientific research and river clean-up efforts by directly addressing upstream [Nooksack River] activities that impact water quality for the greater Puget Sound watershed.
Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association
The Nooksack River Stewards Program
Puget Sound Stewardship and Mitigation Fund, 2019