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Subject:   Seattle City Light Honored for Outstanding Hydroelectric Achievement
For Immediate Release:   
4/13/2006  5:00:00 PM
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Seattle City Light Honored for Outstanding Hydroelectric Achievement

Seattle City Light has received an honor from The National Hydropower Association (NHA) for its innovative environmental work on the South Fork Tolt River. The Honorable Mention Hydro Achievement Award for a Technological Solution was presented for a project that enhances salmon habitat on this river.

The award recognizes complex and challenging projects involving multiple organizations and individuals. Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities coordinated construction of two engineered log jams to trap gravel, activate side channels, and increase channel complexity. At ten other sites, logs were strategically placed. The entire placement was done by helicopter due to the weight and mass of the large wood and the limited river access. Placing large wood pieces makes the sites more favorable to chinook and coho salmon, summer and winter steelhead and cutthroat trout that spawn and rear in the river. In addition to the two utilities, state and federal agencies and the Tulalip Tribes participated in this project. Hancock Forest Management provided access to their land. Landowner cooperation is one of the most important ingredients for a successful restoration project.

"Thanks to this project, we are restoring natural processes in a watershed that has been degraded," said Abby Hook, a hydrologist for the Tulalip Tribes. "This was an incredible example of stakeholder collaboration. It is heartening to see agencies, tribes, and utilities work together to improve habitat using innovative design."

Logs dropped into place on Tolt River by helicopter create salmon habitat
See streaming video here
 
Seattle City Light's Dr. Lynn Best receives award from outgoing NHA president George Martin

City Light's 16.8 megawatt Tolt Hydroelectric project is located on the South Fork of the Tolt River located, 25 miles east of Seattle.

Seattle City Light also won the NHA Outstanding Stewardship of American Rivers Award six times during the last seven years, for exceptional stewardship on the Skagit River, 130 miles Northeast of Seattle. The utility's efforts there for more than 20 years resulted in a 700 percent increase in the chum salmon population and a recent healthy run of fall Puget Sound chinook, which are listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Seattle City Light, one of the nation's largest municipally-owned public utilities, delivered its first electricity to customers in 1905 and continues to provide affordable, reliable, environmentally sound electric power to Seattle and neighboring suburbs. City Light's service territory covers 131 square miles and serves a population of more than 700,000. Seattle City Light has been a leader in renewable energy development for 100 years.
 

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