Stillaguamish River Wetland Restoration
Stillaguamish River Wetland Restoration (Credit: Northwest Treaty Tribes )

The majority of America’s wetlands have been lost to development, conversion, and erosion but major efforts to restore lost wetlands have been under way.

Coastal wetlands are among the most important assets in the sustainable blue economy, providing flood protection, habitat for many species (including commercial fish species), and recreation.  The majority of America’s wetlands have been lost to development, conversion, and erosion but major efforts to restore lost wetlands have been under way.  The Center for the Blue Economy is assisting the Washington State Department of Fisheries & Wildlife understand the benefits of restoring wetlands on the lower Stillaguamish River on the eastern shore of Puget Sound. The center is conducting an analysis of the economic benefits of the wetlands and is developing a process to measure benefits well into the future as the changes associated with restoration take place.  The Center for the Blue Economy approach emphasizes empowering those who live near and use the ecosystems to do the data collection and analysis rather than waiting for consultants to be available.  At the conclusion of this project, the Washington Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, the City of Stanwood, the Stillaguamish Tribe, and stakeholders throughout Puget Sound will be capable of better understanding why wetlands restoration is critical, and will be able to make future economic arguments themselves.

For More Information

Contact Rachel Christopherson, Program Manager, Center for the Blue Economy at rchristo@miis.edu