Port Orchard estuary restoration gets help from WWU students and faculty

The estuary has important value for fish, wildlife, and local human residents

A professor and two students from Western’s Huxley College on the Peninsulas are doing environmental monitoring work for the restoration of Port Orchard’s Harper’s Creek estuary.

Assistant Professor of Environmental Sciences Jenise Bauman and students Tera Dummitt and Caitlin Sidhu are monitoring water quality, looking for invasive species and sampling for the presence of salmonids and other wildlife at the estuary, the site of an $8 million restoration effort led by Kitsap County and the state Department of Ecology.

The site of a former brick factory, the estuary has important value for fish and wildlife, not to mention the local residents who use it recreationally and as a boat launch. The group will compare the restored areas to the rest of the estuary, and see how they compare to other natural and restored estuaries around the state, Bauman says.

The project illustrates the need to restore estuaries and riparian zones that are so important to salmon and other species, says Sidhu, who lives in Port Orchard.

“It also allows me to give back to the community,” she says.