Bellingham is receiving more than $2 million in grant, loan and forgivable-loan funds from the Washington Department of Ecology to re-route and restore a degraded stream channel of Squalicum Creek.
The work, which is identified as one of the department’s top five, high-priority projects, will improve the stream’s problems with temperature and fish habitat. Some of the funding will help pay for education and monitoring programs.
The ecology department selected 72 clean-water projects to receive a share of $152 million in loans and grants during the state’s next fiscal year, which began on July 1.
State financial managers calculate that the funding will create more than 700 local construction and design jobs. In turn, those jobs will contribute to economic activity in Washington that supports more than 1,600 jobs across the state, according to the department.
“Our main goal with this funding is to protect and restore Washington’s waters – but job creation is a very welcome bonus,” said Kelly Susewind, who manages the department’s Water Quality Program, in a press release.
Projects qualifying for Ecology’s clean water funding include upgrades and expansions of sewer plants and collection systems; septic system improvements; water re-use facilities; water cleanup projects; stormwater and groundwater projects; stream-side protection and restoration projects; and public clean water education projects.