The Washington Salmon Recovery Funding Board and the Puget Sound Partnership last Thursday announced the award of more than $53 million in salmon restoration grants, of which Snohomish County projects received a combined $2.98 million in awards.

“Salmon are vitally important to Washington’s economy and to our way of life. They are one of our state’s most precious resources,” said Gov. Jay Inslee in a news release. “These projects will help tackle some of the fundamental problems that are destroying our salmon populations. By making these investments we are taking steps to increase the number of salmon so there will be enough fish for future generations, orcas and for the communities and jobs that rely on the fishing industry.”

Snohomish in among 29 of the state’s 39 counties to receive salmon recovery funding for 163 projects to be conducted in Washington.

The Adopt A Stream Foundation will receive $78,395 to the design the removal of an abandoned railroad bridge and restoration of Woods Creek upstream of Al Borlin Park in Monroe and restoring the nearby floodplain.

“Lower Woods Creek provides crucial off-channel rearing habitat for juvenile Chinook salmon and steelhead, both of which are species listed as threatened with extinction under the federal Endangered Species Act; for coho salmon, which is a federal species of concern; and for chum and pink salmon,” according to the grant funding list.

Snohomish County will put its $363,000 grant award toward work with the Wild Fish Conservancy and Snohomish Conservation District to replace four barriers to fish passage in the Woods Creek watershed area to open nearly three miles of spawning and rearing habitat. Snohomish County is putting in $527,500 for the project.

“The partners will replace three private and one county-owned fish barrier culverts with new culverts, which are large pipes or concrete structures designed to carry streams under roads,” according to the grant list.

The Tulalip Tribes will use $188,870 for planning the removal of the Pilchuck River Diversion Dam, which has been operated by the City of Snohomish since 1912. Removal of the dam is expected to restore access to more than 37 miles of habitat for at-risk salmon. The Tulalip Tribes will commit $33,534 in donations of labor and materials for the project.

The lion’s share of grant funding in Snohomish County is going to the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians purchase floodplain and increase shoreline, as well as building logjams in the north and south forks of the Stillaguamish River. Of the roughly $2.25 million the tribe will receive, $500,000 will be used to fund a prison crew from the Monroe Correctional Complex to plant trees along the river basin and Jim Creek.