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Work about to begin on Big Spring Creek restoration project

NOTE: the following is a press release issued May 6 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin the first phase of construction in May on the Big Spring Creek Restoration Project on the Enumclaw Plateau in southeast King County.  This project will relocate a major section of Big Spring Creek from the current ditched system into a channel consistent with its historic route. This restoration effort will reduce pollution coming from roadside ditches, restore native vegetation, and improve fish and wildlife habitat, including coho salmon and cutthroat trout.   Currently, very little native vegetation or instream habitat features are associated with the stream.

For more than 100 years, the Green/Duwamish River watershed was altered in a way that degraded its ability to provide clean, productive habitat for fish and wildlife.  The Green/Duwamish River Ecosystem Restoration Project is a comprehensive restoration program for the entire watershed, spanning the tidal estuaries to the spawning and wildlife habitat areas in the upper basin. Big Spring Creek is part of this watershed.  This stream was diverted in the 1930s into roadside ditches to make nearby land more suitable for farming.  Currently, Big Spring Creek is severely channelized, and a portion of its flow pattern traverses roadside ditches, which receive road runoff, degrading water quality of the stream.

Construction of Phase 1 of the project (the southern portion) will require heavy equipment operation during the summer of 2013 for up to three months.  Phase 2 of the project (the northern portion) is planned for the summer of 2014.  Construction activity is scheduled between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.  All work will take place within existing conservation easements or on public land.

The project is sponsored by The Army Corps of Engineers and King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks.  The Corps is responsible for project implementation.  Support for this project comes from other entities including the City of Enumclaw, the King Conservation District, and Water Resources Inventory Area 9.

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