The Cemetery Creek and Salmon Park
habitat restoration projects are located at the confluence of Cemetery Creek
and Whatcom Creek. The Salmon Park project covers over 100 meters of the
Whatcom Creek stream bank to the north, while Cemetery Creek encompasses
approximately 75 meters along the south bank of Whatcom Creek and over 400
meters along the east and west forks of Cemetery Creek.
These projects were implemented to mitigate damages following the
Olympic Pipeline Explosion
along Whatcom Creek in 1999. During this event, the fishery and aquatic
resources of Whatcom Creek were severely impacted. The goals for
rehabilitation and enhancement center on mitigating damages by creating and
improving salmonid habitat associated with Whatcom Creek.
Habitat objectives implemented in the projects include:
- Increased salmonid rearing habitat by creating off-channel ponds and
- Improved habitat complexity for all life stages of salmonids in the
lower portion of Cemetery Creek.
- Reduced erosion in the lower portion of Cemetery Creek.
- Removed portions of anthropogenic gravel berms to restore geomorphic
function of stream processes.
- Provided enhanced habitat conditions, while minimizing impacts to
surrounding vegetation and ground surfaces.
Salmon Park restoration site immediately following construction (left) and
after replanting (right)
Cemetery Creek channel before (left) and after reconstruction (right).
Restoration created rearing pools for juvenile salmon and increased habitat
complexity and channel diversity.
Cemetery Creek North Pond before restoration (top), 2006 after restoration
(middle), 2013 after restoration (bottom)
Restoration Site Monitoring
The Settlement Agreement for the Whatcom Creek Pipeline incident also
provided funding for long-term monitoring of the restoration sites.
Monitoring for the Cemetery Creek and Salmon Park projects focuses on seven
- Riparian and terrestrial wildlife (amphibians, birds and mammals)
- Hydrology and Habitat
- Water Quality Photo-points