Land and Air.....
Living together in harmony....
We know the Chimacum Valley is home to people, but do you know how many critters reside among us?
Trumpeter Swans, Bald Eagles, Osprey, Canadian Geese, Ducks (at least 5 species) Coho Salmon, Chum Salmon, Cutthroat Trout, Beaver, Otters, Minks, Muskrat, Weasels, Deer, Elk, Bear, Coyotes and numerous other song birds and reptiles.
These creatures add biodiversity to our Watershed and, just like communities of people need each other and work together, they rely on each other for food sustainability and safe habitats.
When the Chimacum Creek becomes flooded and the water recedes, healthy food sources (healthy grasses vs invasive weeds) become scarce and wildlife suffers.
Flooded pastures lead to climate change problems by depriving the soil of oxygen. Water logged fields create an anaerobic condition which kills healthy pastures, damaging the good species of grass and encouraging invasive weed growth. The decomposing pastures release carbon dioxide, methane and nitric oxide into the atmosphere as green house gases and lower the dissolved oxygens levels for the Salmon and Trout.
You may think the flooding problem is just 'water', but it's actually so much more.
Flooding in the summer time reduces the dissolved oxygen levels because of the decomposing invasive plants. It also promotes millions of frogs, toads and mosquitos, as well as algae, reducing the dissolved oxygen to lethal levels for Salmon.
The Chimacum Valley is home to many local farms. Locally grown food is plentiful when farmers have a place to grow it!
When pastures are flooded, the Chimacum Creek is flooded over its creek banks, this means Salmon and fish species don't have a safe habitat space. Fish in a pasture isn't a good thing. Livestock manure and bird droppings from the pastures wash into the flooded creek affecting water quality. Flooded pastures up stream can lead to flooded housing communities downstream. When the water table rises in neighborhoods older septic system drainage fields become compromised and often leak sewage effluent into our ground water.
The Chimacum Creek needs to be maintained not just to protect critical area habitats and to protect our community water quality but also to preserve the investment the properties owners have made in their land.
....lead back to the Water
This picture shows summer flooding in a Chimacum Valley farmland pasture.