Yesterday I attended the inaugural Green / Duwamish Watershed Symposium. It was a pivotal event for our watershed. Over 240 people came to share ideas and see how they can collaborate together to protect, conserve, and restore our river.
This comes on the heels of a recent event that I uncovered while I was out taking some photographs at Icy Creek. An area that I had explored, a large forested bog surrounded by deep forest, was altered in a way I never expected. The entire area around the wetland had been clear cut and into the bog. They left a few remaining cottonwoods that will most likely come down in the first big windstorms we have.
I had no idea this was even legal but apparently the State logging rules are very lax and may allow for this type of deforestation and destruction of wetlands and subsurface water channels.
This bog is one of the areas where Icy creek spring surfaces as it flows along sandstone channels and then surfaces and tumbles 300 ft down into the Green River Gorge where it flows into the Green.
This spring feeds cold, unpolluted water into the Green and supplies water to a hatchery. Salmon, both wild and hatchery, spawn at it's lower reach. It has very little protection because it is not an above surface stream for most of it's length. Even though salmon spawn along the section of the spring at the base of the Gorge it is not considered important enough to warrant studies. This spring along with at least six others on the south side of the Gorge supply a significant amount of cold unpolluted water into the Green River, a river that already has significant temperature and waters quality issues because of all the urbanization downstream.
The big unanswered question is how is this going to affect water quality and quantity?