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Salmon viewing from home

Onlookers check out Chico Creek during a celebration last year. A new online program will allow salmon viewing from the computer. - Jesse Beals/file photo 2008
Onlookers check out Chico Creek during a celebration last year. A new online program will allow salmon viewing from the computer.
— image credit: Jesse Beals/file photo 2008

New program allows public to see project progress online.

With online programs like YouTube and the video capabilities of cell phones, people can see what’s going on around the globe with the simple click of a button.

While YouTube features awkward moments caught on digital video, a new program is helping raise awareness of salmon habitat restoration projects across the state of Washington. A Kitsap County project is one of the first to take center stage.

Of the 47 projects mostly completed and detailed through the Habitat Work Schedule viewing platform, the Chico Creek In-stream Restoration site is one of the first to appear online.

The HWS program is a joint effort by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and local lead entity watershed groups including the West Sound Watershed Council, which is coordinated by Kitsap County habitat biologist Kathy Peters, who is a big proponent of the program.

This region includes Kitsap County and some of Pierce County.

“It’s helpful because people will have another way to look at what we’re doing,” Peters said, adding the projects are funded by taxpayer dollars, so it’s important for the public to see how its money is being spent.

With 27 lead entity organizations across the state, Peters said the program should make it easier for each group to connect with each other and develop new approaches to salmon habitat restoration.

“Instead of having to call five people, we will be able to see how other people are implementing their plan,” she said.

Even though the program is just in its infancy, Peters said she already sees what a positive impact it will have across the state in terms of salmon habitat restoration and salmon recovery efforts.

Another plus of the program is it allows monitoring information to be included on the site and also provides possible projects for community service organizations, she said.

“If we have a Boy Scout troop looking for a trail to build or something like that, they can look at the site and see what’s available,” Peters said.

Other project sponsors working with the West Sound Watershed Council toward salmon recovery efforts include Bremerton Public Works, city of Bainbridge Island, city of Poulsbo, Great Peninsula Conservancy, Kitsap County, Kitsap County Parks and Recreation, Kitsap County Public Works, Liberty Bay Foundation, Mid-Puget Sound Fish Enhancement Group, Port of Bremerton, Pierce Conservation District, Pierce County Water Programs Division and the Suquamish Tribe.

More information about past or current projects occurring within the West Sound Watershed Council’s region can be found through the Habitat Work Schedule Public portal at www.hws.ekosystem.us.

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