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  • Monitoring the Qwuloolt Estuarine Levee Breach Restoration


Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC) Fish Ecology FE - Watershed


Qwuloolt levee breach
Monitoring the Qwuloolt Estuarine Levee Breach Restoration
Comprehensive planning and monitoring of abiotic (hydrology, land forms, energy and nutrients, and chemistry) and biotic (plants, fish, invertebrates, birds, mammals) attributes pre- and post-breach at a 150 hectare site in the Snohomish estuary.

Research Themes

Habitats to support sustainable fisheries and recovered populations
Healthy oceans, coastal waters, and riverine habitats provide the foundation for aquatic resources used by a diversity of species and society. Protecting marine, estuarine and freshwater ecosystems that support these species relies on science to link habitat condition/processes and the biological effects of restoration actions. The NWFSC provides the habitat science behind many management actions taken by NOAA Fisheries and other natural resource agencies to protect and recover aquatic ecosystems and living marine resources. The NWFSC also maintains a longstanding focus on toxic chemical contaminants, as a foundation for regional and national research on pollution threats to fisheries and protected resources.

Research Foci

Develop effective and efficient habitat restoration and conservation techniques
Maintaining and re-establishing viability and sustainability of living marine resources requires conservation and rehabilitation or restoration of habitats upon which species depend. Common habitat restoration approaches and tech-niques often presume that habitats are static features of the environment, and that creation of stable habitats is a desirable restoration strategy. However, riverine, nearshore, and marine habitats are created and sustained by dynamic landscape, climatic, and oceanographic processes and biota are adapted to changing habitats that are within the range of natural variability. Hence, current restoration strategies often have limited success, in part because they fail to recognize larger scale processes that drive habitat change, and in part because they fail to recognize intrinsic habitat potential of individual restoration sites. The main goals of this research focus are to: improve understanding of how large-scale processes create diverse and dynamic habitats that support marine and anadromous species, better understand how human activities alter habitat-forming processes and habitats, develop new restoration techniques that are compatible with sustainable habitat-forming processes, and understand the variety of actions needed to adequately conserve intact critical habitats. In addition, NWFSC’s research will improve understanding of how new and existing habitat restoration and protection techniques affect fish and habitat at multiple scales (i.e., reach, watershed, Evolutionarily Significant Unit).


Puget Sound
Puget Sound
all bird taxa
juvenile salmonid
early life stages of salmonids
habitat restoration
type of habitat


None associated


Class Aves
Class Mammalia
Kingdom Plantae
Order Clupeiformes
Order Osmeriformes
Order Salmoniformes


Joshua Chamberlin
Principal Investigator