DERT is currently partnering with Puget Soundkeeper Alliance (PSKA), the Squaxin Island Tribe, Salmon Defense and the Nisqually Indian Tribe to execute Phase 1 of the South Sound Healthy Watershed Program, The Program will help DERT move to the next phase of accomplishing our overall mission to restore and protect the Deschutes Watershed. With this funding, DERT will expand our presence in the Watershed, increase our volunteer base to engage in kayak and boat patrols and conduct citizen science, use drone technology to develop a map that identifies fresh and marine water habitat restoration opportunities and develop nutrient reduction strategies for these over-taxed waters. DERT’s’ South Sound Healthy Watershed Program will address these root causes and seek out new opportunities to improve water quality using the following tools:
1. Boat and kayak patrols to monitor pollution where trained volunteers collect water quality samples and remove detritus;
2. Identification of restoration opportunities through analysis of shorelines used by Native Americans since time immemorial to inform and innovate modern restoration and maintenance in reference to potential sea level rise; and
3. Creation of draft maps of the watershed using drone technology culminating in a story map to educate the public about DERT and partners conservation and restoration efforts while providing them with tangible, interactive maps and video for engagement and future projects.
4. Develop a new and improved program to recruit and train volunteers in South Sound in-water and on-land activities.
DERT’s South Sound Healthy Watershed Program will become the fulcrum of our water quality and estuary restoration efforts and will engage the community in a new, more active way.