SWS Speaker Series: Loren Brokaw on Leque Restoration
Sound Water Stewards-Camano Speaker Series Presents:
From Island to Tidal Marsh: The Leque Island Estuary Restoration Project
with Loren Brokaw, WDFW
Where did all that water come from that you now see as you cross the bridge connecting Camano Island to Stanwood? After removing the dike surrounding Leque Island on October 14, 2019, the first high tide entered the 250-acre area of Leque Island in 135+ years. This marked the beginning of the land transitioning back to an intertidal marsh. In this informative talk by Loren Brokaw, Restoration Projects Coordinator for Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in the North Puget Sound region, you will:
Learn about the history and future of the Leque Island Estuary Restoration Project.
Discover how the project benefits all species that rely on estuary habitat as part of their life cycle, including salmon, shorebirds, waterfowl, and a host of other species.
Find out about a new 0.7 mile long elevated walking trail and a non-motorized boat launch to allow people to continue to enjoy the site.
Leque Island, located west of Stanwood between Port Susan and Skagit bays, was once entirely saltwater marsh. Loren led the project to restore it and protect Stanwood in the process.
Loren Brokaw is the Restoration Projects Coordinator for Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) in the North Puget Sound region, which extends from the Washington/Canada border down to just South of Seattle. Loren manages habitat restoration projects on WDFW lands that involve restoration of natural processes to benefit fish, wildlife, and their habitats including a local project at Leque Island. Much of his work involves partnering with local organizations, planning and executing stakeholder outreach plans, and securing grant funding to achieve habitat restoration objectives. Loren was born and raised in Stanwood and his family has lived in the Stanwood Camano area for five generations.
Description: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), Ducks Unlimited, and local contractor Strider Construction completed construction of the Leque Island Estuary Restoration Project in late 2019. After removing the dike surrounding the island on October 14, 2019, the first high tide entered the 250-acre area of Leque Island for the first time in 135+ years, which marks the beginning of the land transitioning back to an intertidal marsh. Leque Island is owned and managed by WDFW, and is the area you cross as you go over the bridge to Camano Island. The project is designed to benefit all species that rely on estuary habitat as part of their life cycle, including salmon, shorebirds, waterfowl, and a host of other species. In addition to habitat benefits, there is a new 0.7 mile long elevated walking trail and a non-motorized boat launch to allow people to continue to enjoy the site.
This unit of the Skagit Wildlife Area is now re-opened to the public with two parking areas and two water access sites.
Watch a video of breaching the dikes to open the estuary.
About the Sponsor: Sound Water Stewards (SWS) are trained volunteers working in and around Island County for a healthy, sustainable Puget Sound environment through education, community outreach, stewardship, and citizen science. Our speaker series at the Camano Library are free and open to the public. SWS programs and events are funded in part by proceeds from the sale of Light House license plates via Lighthouse Environmental Program (LEP). www.SoundWaterStewards.org