Salmon Restoration is Art, Science and Math
1. Bridge or Culvert: Over time NSEA has favored the bigger upfront costs of using a bridge rather than a culvert to remove a migratory obstacle. Culverts work fairly well, if installed correctly, and are less expensive in the beginning. However, when maintenance costs are factored in, the bridge (which is usually a better migratory solution) begins to be a competitively priced option.
2. Fish Passage and the Domino Effect: All of the migratory obstacles in Whatcom County are well documented. Even with NSEA's good track record, there are hundreds remaining. One way we've learned to speed up the process of replacing obstacles with good fish passage solutions is to work directly with other entities like the WA Department of Transportation to do multiple, related projects simultaneously. This tends to save money and extend more migratory freedom to salmon.
3. In Neighbors We Trust: NSEA relies on the trust that forms between neighbors. Many private landowners whose land includes a viable salmon stream or river are hesitant to take arable land out of production or make salmon related improvements. However, we've found that, while that landowner might be wary of us initially, they will extend trust toward their neighbors who had a positive experience with an NSEA project. That makes good sense to us.