Commencement Bay Aquatic Ecosystem Assessment: Ecosystem-Scale Restoration for Juvenile Salmon Recovery.
The recent Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing for Puget Sound chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) highlights both the conflicts and the potential to restore estuarine ecosystems of juvenile salmon in Commencement Bay. In order to restore and sustain healthy wild Puyallup River chinook populations, remediation of contaminated sediments must proceed without further jeopardizing the opportunity for these salmon to respond positively to various recovery actions implemented in their natal watershed and Puget Sound. Conversely, under some scenarios remediation of contaminated sediments and associated mitigation actions have the potential to contribute significantly to salmon recovery by enhancing the health of the lower Puyallup River and Commencement Bay watershed, estuarine ecosystems and associated aquatic habitats that support Puyallup salmon production. Unlike many mitigation and restoration actions that have addressed impacts to aquatic habitats in Commencement Bay in the past, responding to the broader ESA mandate demands a more comprehensive, ecosystem-based approach to juvenile salmon requirements in a highly impacted estuarine and lower perennial riverine landscape.
- Technical Reports