Bringing back the saltwater marshes to Nisqually Refuge

Bulldozers and other earth-moving machines began gouging into a beautiful green meadow near the entrance of the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge in Washington State on Tuesday.

"It's such a big change," U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service refuge manager Jean Takekawa said. "It's jarring to see heavy equipment out there, but it is how we are bringing back the saltwater marsh."

The refuge is on its way to becoming the largest restored saltwater marsh in Puget Sound.

The $12 million project, about 10 years in the making, will restore 762 acres of saltwater estuary near the mouth of the Nisqually River. It will provide habitat for chinook salmon, which are listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act.

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