Here’s How YOU Can Help!

Salmon recovery in Clallam County and Puget Sound requires a concerted effort from all of us. Here are simple ways you can help.  Many of the activities below concern protection of streams and wetlands, both of which are vitally important to salmon habitat and spawning areas. On the Olympic Peninsula, municipal, irrigation and domestic water is pulled from rivers and streams such as the Elwha and the Dungeness, along with wells which remove water from area aquifers. Using less water means more water for fish.

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Water Conservation Tips: Everyone Can Conserve Water OUTDOORS By:

  • Converting lawns to native plants, low-water landscaping and drip irrigation
  • Watering lawns in the early morning hours when more water is absorbed & less is wasted
  • Limiting watering to 1 inch/week including rainfall
  • Only using the toilet for its intended purpose, Not for disposal of food waste or other items
  • Using “low-impact development” (L.I.D.) practices that are better for the environment
  • Avoid paving or use permeable or porous pavers
  • Using a mulching lawn mower set a 2-3” height to get deeper, healthier roots that retain moisture, and require less water

Water Conservation Tips: Everyone Can Conserve Waters INDOORS By:

  • Taking shorter showers
  • Only using the toilet for its intended purpose, Not for disposal of food waste or other items
  • Only running the washer or dishwasher when it is full
  • Checking and fixing any water leaks in pipes and toilets
  • Shutting off the water when lathering, shaving, and brushing teeth
  • Converting to low-flow toilets, showerheads, and faucets (check with your utility, City of Sequim, Port Angeles, PUD and others which may have discounts)

Salmon need water free from pollutants. Everyone Can Protect Water Quality using these Water Conservation Tips:

  • Avoiding or limiting use of outdoor fertilizer & pesticides which reduce good fish habitat by encouraging plant growth that depletes oxygen in the water needed by fish. The same is true for cleaning supplies with phosphates.
  • If you must use fertilizer, use slow release, natural fertilizers
  • Pulling weeds by hand instead of spraying with chemicals
  • Safely dispose of unused and expired medicine instead of trashing or flushing it, which eventually finds its way into streams and salmon.
  • Creating rain gardens which filter stormwater & other pollutants from water
  • Planting native vegetation along streams. Plants shade the water, keeping it cool for salmon
  • Disposing of chemicals, motor oils and hazardous materials properly. Do not dump into storm drains or area waters
  • Having an annual inspection & maintenance of septic system to ensure it is functioning properly
  • Pumping septics every 2-3 years and avoid flushing non-biodegradeable items
  • Making sure wells are properly sealed
  • Properly decommissioning old wells
  • Having private wells tested annually for nitrates and other bacteria
  • Keeping all toxics 100 feet or more away from wells
  • Picking up pet waste and flushing it down the toilet since pet waste is a major source of water pollution.
  • Cleaning driveways & sidewalks with a broom, not the hose. Washing sidewalks and driveways sends car pollutants into storm drains, then into rivers and ground water .
  • Washing cars parked on the lawn, not the street; so the water won’t drain to the street or storm drains. Or go to a commercial car wash where waste water is recycled.

Limiting electric consumption

(Electricity is produced at dams, which can block salmon migration. Limiting your electrical use decreases the demand for dam-generated electricity)

  • Buy energy efficient electrical appliances.
  • Turn off lights, computers and other appliances when not in use to save electricity

Take care when living near water

  • Use natural ground cover or porous materials such as gravel or bark instead of asphalt and concrete for paths and driveways.
  • Ensure roof runoff soaks into the ground. Avoid piping to ravines or streams as it causes erosion.
  • Do Not remove trees or vegetation along bluffs or hillsides. It increases erosion and the possibility of mudslides.
  • Do Not dispose of grass clippings or other plant materials into lakes, river or salt water.
  • Try to keep shorelines as natural as possible.
  • Learn more by watching this short video about the effects bulkheads have on fish.

The Above Information came from the Clallam County Department of Environmental Health, WA Recreation & Conservation Office, and the Washington Departments of Fish & Wildlife and Ecology.


  • Streamkeepers of Clallam County trains citizen volunteers to monitor area streams.
  • The non-profit North Olympic Salmon Coalition hosts planting parties, survey missions, and other habitat restoration projects.
  • The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the National Wildlife Federation recognize homeowners who design and maintain their backyards to enhance wildlife habitat.
  • North Olympic Land Trust uses volunteers to help preserve & maintain lands important for conservation


  • Use Low-Impact Development techniques which are better for the environment
  • Incorporate wetlands as a feature of a project. Wetlands benefit people by purifying water, providing flood protection, helping with groundwater retention and maintaining stream flows.

Farmers & Land Owners

  • Contact area restoration practitioners such as the North Olympic Salmon Coalition, Clallam Conservation District, and area Tribes including the Jamestown S’Klallam, Elwha Klallam and Makah Tribes for assistance with fencing, revegetation, culvert replacement, channel enhancement, bank stabilization, and other projects to help salmon on your property
  • Apply for DNR’s Family Forest Fish Passage Program to get financial assistance correcting fish passage barriers on your forestlands
  • Enroll in the CREP program through the Clallam Conservation District and receive payments for stream-side habitat enhancement
  • Preserve farmland by selling an agricultural easement to the North Olympic Land Trust
  • Preserve riparian habitat by selling a conservation easement to the North Olympic Land Trust
  • Learn about local NRCS programs through the Clallam Conservation District to help reduce soil erosion, enhance water supplies, improve water quality, increase wildlife habitat, and reduce damages caused by floods and other natural disasters
  • Apply to the American Farmland Trust’s Pioneers in Conservation program for a grant to restore or protect salmon habitat on agricultural and forest lands
  • Certify and promote your farm as “Salmon-Safe” through the Stewardship Partners program