Duwamish Alive! & Orca Recovery Day Volunteers Worked to Save Salmon and Orca
The 13th annual fall Duwamish Alive! event was held on Saturday, bringing communities together from Seattle to Auburn, in an effort to restore critical salmon habitat at 19 urban parks and open spaces supporting the environmental health of the river, its salmon, and the endangered Southern Resident Orca. Starting at 10:00 am, hundreds volunteers worked at multiple locations throughout the Green-Duwamish Watershed in a day of major cleanup and habitat restoration in the ongoing effort to keep the Green- Duwamish River healthy for local communities, salmon and the Puget Sound orca. The Green-Duwamish River is home to 5 salmon species including the critical Chinook salmon which the Southern Resident Orcas depend upon for food.October is the height of the river’s salmon runs and best viewing.
The returning salmon spawn not only in the river but also in its streams and creeks, including the 3 mile Longfellow Creek which runs from Roxhill Bog, north through Delridge and out to the Duwamish River. Longfellow Creek's Coho salmon have declined in recent years do to loss of salmon habitat and high levels of pollution in the creek which are causing pre-spawn mortality. This is where the salmon die before releasing their eggs into the stream bed.
The event focused on improving salmon habitat, with State House Representative Joe Fitzgibbon joining volunteers with King Conservation District to help a local residential owner remove invasive plants along Longfellow Creek which runs through their property in an effort to improve the health of the creek, planting of trees next to the creek in White Center Heights Park with King County Councilmember Joe McDermott, improving the Green Wall in Georgetown which will help reduce air pollution by filtering particulates, and improving salmon habitat along the Green-Duwamish River.