Blog by Mirna Ali, a college intern working with the WaterWorks Grant Program. Mirna is a senior at the University of Washington, Tacoma majoring in environmental science.
Fall salmon spawning season is under way as native sockeye, chinook, coho, pink and chum are coming home to King County’s rivers and streams. The Salmon SEEson website provides information on salmon-spotting locations that include small streams, large rivers, the Ballard Locks and hatcheries throughout King County. Some salmon-viewing opportunities are self-guided, while volunteer naturalists are available at other locations on select dates to help visitors spot the fish and learn about the salmon’s life cycle and habitat needs.If you’re in South King County looking for spawning at these locations: Cedar River, Miller Creek (Normandy Park), Clark Lake (Kent), you may come across students participating in the “Salmon Heroes” education program. It’s run by a non-profit called the Environmental Science Center. The “Salmon Heroes” program provides watershed education and water quality training for underserved students. Its goal is to train the next generation of environmental leaders on water quality issues.
Over the past two years, over 2,000 elementary, middle and high school students from South King County have participated as “Salmon Heroes.” The students have been out collecting water quality samples and sharing their data with an international database hosted by EarthEcho, a global network of citizens from more than 140 countries that engage citizens to conduct basic monitoring of their local waterbodies and educating people about watershed health.
Check out this “Salmon Heroes” video:
Salmon Heroes is a five-hour interactive program designed to teach students about salmon habitat needs and how stormwater pollution is affecting the watershed.
The program is funded through the WaterWorks Grant program which provides funds for projects that improve water quality in the Wastewater Treatment Division’s service area. About $4 million of grants funding is awarded every two years to a variety of water quality projects across King County. Currently, there are 70 grant-funded projects led by non-profits, schools, educational institutions, and cities that align with the water quality mission of King County Wastewater Treatment Division.