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Conservation efforts focus on tributary of Quil Ceda Creek

AASF ecologist Walter Rung helps two Edmonds Community College students with log installation alongside the West Fork of Quilceda Creek.  - Courtesy photo
AASF ecologist Walter Rung helps two Edmonds Community College students with log installation alongside the West Fork of Quilceda Creek.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

MARYSVILLE By planting native trees and shrubs along with blocking access by domesticated animals, three groups set out July 9 to try and restore a section of a tributary of Quilceda Creek on July 9.

A salmon run, Quilceda Creek's West Fork tributary flows from Arlington through Marysville to the Snohomish River.

The groups involved in the effort were the Adopt-A-Stream Foundation in partnership with Edmonds Community College and the Department of Ecology.

According to the Adopt-A-Stream group, the tributary suffers from low oxygen levels and high fecal coliform levels, the latter an indicator of the presence of harmful pathogens.

As a result of an Adopt-A-Stream door-to-door campaign to contact landowners along the creek, Paul Cedarland, a small ranch owner with cattle and horses on his property, agreed to allow AASF to create a 35 foot-wide buffer zone around the creek, blocking Cedarland's animals from the waterway. The buffer zone was created with a log structure along the stream.

The new work was in addition to efforts undertaken in February by Boy Scout Troop 42, which planted approximately 200 native trees and shrubs along the creek. The more recent efforts were aided by 12 students from Edmonds Community College, who helped spread 75 cubic yards of mulch around the native trees and plants.

The various materials were donated by Snohomish County and AASF. Cascade Coffee donated jute coffee bags that were placed around young trees to act as weed barriers protecting the still young native foliage. Once the native trees have grown, they will help provide shade for the creek, as salmon prefer colder water. The plantings also will cut down on soil erosion.

The Edmonds students also helped create and install a log structure in the stream channel. The logs are meant to provide new fish habitats in the water. Water flowing over the logs also will provide added oxygen to the water.

The new streamside vegetation is fenced in and Cedarland's livestock will be staying out of Quilceda Creek in the future. If you are a property owner along Quilceda Creek or would like to help in further restoration efforts, call the Adopt-A-Stream Foundation at 425-316-8592.

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