Youth from Puget Soundkeeper’s Lost Urban Creeks (LUC) project took to the field last week to see what a functioning salmon habitat really looks like. Dan Eastman, the Capital Project Manager for King County’s Water and Land Resources Division, Ecological Restoration and Engineering Services Unit and Nathan Brown III, Cedar River Council Coordinator and Project Program Manager met our LUC participants at the Cedar River to show them the Rainbow Bend Restoration Site – a site where they have conducted major work to allow the river to reclaim part of its original flood plain. For the youth, this was their first experience with snorkeling and it took some time to get their snorkel legs. But they quickly got the hang of it and loved swimming with the fish! The weather and water were perfect for floating above the river bed to observe all the fish and benthic invertebrates going about their business. We hope to do more trips like this next summer with a bigger group and perhaps even conduct a snorkeling river clean-up one day!

The Lost Urban Creeks project empowers and mentors youth in environmental literacy, water quality monitoring, and restoration techniques while simultaneously restoring freshwater streams that are abused and neglected. Lost Urban Creeks often flow through communities most impacted by pollution and environmental injustice, highlighting the social and economic inequities in our region. In 2019, youth interns invested over 2000 hours to restore the health of Springbrook Creek in South King County.