The City of Bellevue has finished several more projects of a multi-year, $4 million Coal Creek Stabilization Plan to reduce erosion and sedimentation, improve flood protection, improve water quality and enhance fish habitat.
Projects recently completed include repairing 11 drainage outfalls on steep slopes and stabilizing about 2,000 feet of streambank in the middle reach of Coal Creek. The work benefits both people and fish.
Hundreds of logs and rootwads, anchored with boulders, were installed to protect and reinforce the streambanks and reduce erosion. The logs create pools, a place for young salmon to hide from predators, and provide shade that keeps water temperatures down. The fish-friendly habitat also attracts insects, an important food source for fish. Boulders placed in the streambed will help slow down the stream flow, further reducing erosion.
Intensive logging and mining in the Coal Creek area from the late 1800s through the early 1900s has resulted in sediment and erosion problems. Excess sediment can contribute to flooding and hurt salmon by smothering eggs and destroying habitat.
Future work planned includes design and permitting for several more projects to be constructed in 2008 or 2009. Streambank and slope stabilization work is planned for the upper reach of Coal Creek and a new 1,500-cubic-yard sedimentation facility will be created upstream of I-405.
Because salmon in Coal Creek are protected under the Endangered Species Act, federal permits limit construction to the summer months, before salmon begin spawning.
To learn more about the Coal Creek Stabilization Plan and see what the work looks like, view this Bellevue TV "It's Your City" segment. You can see the potential with this project by viewing Bellevue TV footage of salmon spawning at Kelsey Creek.
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