Construction of two pedestrian bridges and the partial removal of an existing dike on the Mary E. Theler Wetlands Trail will start Monday, June 3, 2013 in Belfair, Washington. The pedestrian bridges are part of the Union River Estuary Restoration Project, and will be built to retain the trail after a portion of the existing levee is removed. This construction will promote estuary restoration through salt-water tidal flows. A trail detour will be opened to retain the existing length of the walking trail.
Once the bridges are complete, the closed portions of the trail will be reopened. When completed, the restoration project will add approximately one-half mile of walking trail to the Theler trail system. Completion of the bridges and removal of the existing levee is scheduled for the end of August, 2013.
Union River Estuary Restoration
In partnership with Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, Recreation and Conservation Office and United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group/Pacific Northwest Salmon Center is working to restore 31 acres of previously filled estuary habitat. This is an important project for juvenile salmon, which require shallow, protected waters to seek refuge from predators and strong currents during seasonal migration. Estuaries provide an area where juvenile and adult salmon can slowly transition from saltwater to freshwater and fresh to saltwater. This project will aide in restoring the last significant estuary in the southern portion of Hood Canal. Phase 1 of this project began in September of 2012.