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Update coming on salmon project

An update on plans to rejuvenate migration of young salmon in Deer Lagoon will be held next week in Coupeville.

The meeting, sponsored by the Island County Marine Resources Committee, will be at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 7, in the Fellowship Hall of Coupeville United Methodist Church, 608 Main St.

Micah Wait of the nonprofit environmental group Wild Fish Conservancy will give an update of the proposal and answer questions.

Since June, WFC has been exploring ways to alter the 100-year-old system of levies and dikes in about 450 acres of wetlands between Shore Avenue, Double Bluff Road and Useless Bay Golf & Country Club.

The goal is to create a water-flow system that will reduce the accumulation of brackish, toxic water that has resulted in dead young fish through the years. The work would be accomplished with state and federal grants.

The project is in its earliest stages. WFC has been collecting community comments, and hopes to get county commissioners to sign off on the proposal early next year.

Construction would begin in 2012, if grants are obtained.

But early critics have been concerned about the environmental effects of changing water levels in the wetland. They worry about birds and wildlife, the creation of smelly mudflats, the impact on septic systems in the area, disruption caused by construction and the potential for unwanted property development.

For more information, visit www.islandcountymrc.org or call 221-8584.

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