The health of Cedar River—and its inhabitants—has been continually threatened by knotweed, an invasive plant that overtakes riverbanks, squeezes out native species and can quickly destroy properties and ecosystems. In 2010, Forterra, Seattle Public Utilities, and King County Noxious Weed Control Program established Stewardship-in-Action (SIA), a collaborative partnership that engaged local community to restore the banks of the Cedar River. Through partnerships with homeowners and volunteers working on public and private lands, SIA has reduced the footprint of invasive knotweeds along the length of the river by 90%, making room for thousands of native trees and shrubs.
In the fall of 2018, after eight years of hard work, restoration efforts finally reached the mouth of the Cedar River at Lake Washington in Renton. With knotweed under control, a future forest is taking root along all 22 miles of the lower Cedar River. This work supported a healthy system that stabilizes banks, casts shade to keep the river cool for salmon, and provides food and shelter for wildlife.
GIVING SALMON AND ORCA A FIGHTING CHANCE
Orcas need clean water and salmon to eat if they are going to survive, so habitat restoration for salmon is key in the long-term strategy for orca recovery. In an intricately connected ecosystem, any one decision will impact the entire web of life; knotweed overtaking a river causes orca hundreds of miles away to go hungry.
Through a collaborative partnership, Stewardship-in-Action (SIA), Forterra, Seattle Public Utilities, and King County Noxious Weed Control Program, established restoration efforts on the Cedar River to support a healthy system that stabilizes banks, casts shade to keep the river cool for salmon, and provides food and shelter for wildlife.