Turning the tide after 100 years: restoring the Nisqually Delta
Restoring an Estuary | Restoration Construction
After 12 years of restoration planning and collaborative efforts, this week marks a milestone for the restoration of the Nisqually Delta. Waters from Puget Sound will be reconnected to 762 acres on the 3,000 acre Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge for the first time in over 100 years! Five to seven sloughs that braid their way through the river delta were opened up by construction crews one by one during high tides. The first of these was Shannon Slough, a small channel that was reconnected with McAllister Creek when the last berm was removed, allowing high tides to flow onto the historic marsh.
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This week marks a milestone in a 12-year effort to restore some 762 acres of estuary on the 3,000-acre Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. Some 4 miles of exterior dike were removed this summer, one horizontal slice at a time. Last summer a new, exterior dike was built at the refuge to prepare for this summer’s dike removal. More than 350,000 cubic yards of dirt and rock have been moved, involving a crew of 24 and a fleet of excavators, backhoes and dump trucks.