Grants Database

South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group
Amount Awarded:
Project Title:
Butler Cove Estuary Restoration
Puget Sound Stewardship and Mitigation Fund, 2020
Water Resources/Watershed Protection ; Habitat/Wilderness/Preservation
South Sound; 20190228_ButlerCovePermit_OptRed.pdf ; The Butler Cove Estuary Restoration Project is located on the west side of Budd Inlet approximately 2 miles north of Olympia in Thurston County. Attached is a location map and the restoration plan.
Project Description:

Butler Cove estuary was modified and developed in the early 1930’s by the property owner for the installation of fish rearing ponds from the mouth of the estuary up 400’ to Windolph Road, a private road. The development consisted of installing an earth embankment across the estuary, a concrete spillway, an 18-inch bypass pipe and upstream concrete divider walls and spillways. Fish rearing operations were abandoned and as a result of neglected maintenance, the impoundment filled with sediment. In 2006, the earthen dam failed, but the infrastructure remains. The project proposes to remove the remaining infrastructure; prepare a plan and work with local residents to address invasives; and let natural processes restore the creek bed. The Butler Cove Estuary is the largest pocket estuary in Budd Inlet that drains Butler Creek which has three separate tributaries each with wetland complex headwaters and host 3 miles of potential habitat. Each year, multiple salmonid species attempt to reach these headwaters (personal communication, Fred Seager).
Restoration of Butler Cove salt marsh is high priority for locally driven salmon restoration. Restoration of marine marshes like Butler Cove improve estuarine function compromised by physical alteration. The Windolph Road community has been advocating for and supportive of this project since 2003. The project received $192,000 from the Salmon Recovery Funding Board. SRFB requires $35,000 match through volunteer contributions and other grant sources. The project is fully designed and partially permitted.