The Suquamish Tribe is concerned about human induced impacts to the spawning, rearing, and migratory habitat of native salmonids in the Blackjack Creek watershed, and wishes to prevent further degradation and restore habitat-forming processes.
The Blackjack Creek watershed covers an area of 12.3 square miles in eastern Kitsap County and is considered one of the largest and most productive salmon watersheds in the south Kitsap subregion supporting two genetically distinct runs of chum salmon, as well as Chinook and coho salmon, steelhead, and cutthroat trout.
Through a science-based assessment, ESA assisted the Tribe in developing strategies and actions for the watershed, including its estuary and nearshore areas of Sinclair Inlet. ESA synthesized findings from existing data and studies and identified major data gaps; developed maps that display the location and condition of ecosystem components and key ecological attributes; identified and assessed human-induced pressures responsible for degraded ecology; developed watershed-level strategies and site-level actions to address pressure sources and stressors; developed a watershed protection and restoration plan; identified data gaps and topics of additional study; and coordinated with other entities.
The efforts assisted the Tribe in developing a complete and clear plan of distinct strategies and actions that can guide, inform, and ultimately meet its objectives for restoring watershed processes, including the stream, riparian and floodplain conditions, estuary, and nearshore habitats in this area of Puget Sound.
Across Puget Sound, there are competing demands on floodplain areas: local jurisdictions need to manage flood risk, salmon recovery entities need to restore and reconnect habitat areas, and farmers need to ensure that their farms remain viable.