The Watershed Co.

Specialty: Environmental consulting
President: Bill Way
2000 revenues: $700,000
Projected 2001 revenues: Approximately $700,000
Location: Kirkland Business for Watershed Co. is steady, though admittedly not as “frantic” as it was even a year ago, according to president Bill Way.

“A year ago, the economy was hotter than a pistol,” said Way, whose firm does most of its work in rehabilitation of rivers, streams, lakes, wetlands and wildlife habitat. “Public and private sector work was cruising along. Now, there’s a little bit of hesitancy.”

Yet, the Endangered Species Act continues to drive considerable public and private work, according to Way. Current projects include stream restoration design and construction monitoring for Mill Pond, Butte, Elk and Trap Creeks for the Willapa Bay Salmon Enhancement Group.

Watershed is completing designs on four stream restoration projects for the Willapa Bay non-profit group, which obtained funding through the Washington State Salmon Enhancement Funding Board. All four projects will be built this summer. Mill Pond Creek project is an in-town, high-profile stream relocation from a channelized ditch. Treatment for Elk and Butte Creeks (half a mile and one mile, respectively) will reintroduce large woody debris to amplify pools. In addition, Elk Creek will receive large quantities of spawning gravels that it is devoid of. Trap Creek is a larger system that is still being analyzed for design needs.

For the Newaukum Creek biological evaluation and stream restoration, the Mid-Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group retained Watershed to prepare plans for restoration of in-stream and riparian habitat along approximately 740 feet of the North Fork of Newaukum Creek. Restoration plans included placement of habitat elements such as logs and boulders and installation of streambed gravel.

The streambank and buffer areas will be revegetated with native trees, shrubs, and groundcover plants. As part of the restoration of the creek, the Mid-Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group proposes to replace two culverts and remove a third culvert at adjacent and nearby locations on the same creek. The corrugated-metal-pipe culverts will be replaced with 12-foot-wide, three-sided concrete box culverts set well below stream grade and filled with streambed gravel. Watershed prepared the biological evaluation, which addresses chinook and coho salmon and bull trout, and also assisted with project permitting.

While work has tapered off since the fast pace of the late 1990s, Way said that has not diminished the steady flow of challenging projects. “We’ve grown a bit over the last year and had a lot in cool and interesting projects,” he said.

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