The National Hydropower Association has honored Seattle City Light for outstanding environmental stewardship on the Skagit River. The utility and seven other hydroelectric project owners were commended for using scientific methods and technical innovation to improve environmental conditions and more effectively manage river resources.
The "Outstanding Stewardship of American Rivers" 2002 award winners were chosen by a five-member judging committee comprised of two environmental representatives, two industry representatives, and the managing editor of Hydro Review magazine. Projects had to demonstrate significant environmental accomplishments beyond providing clean and renewable power. They were evaluated on challenge, collaboration, innovation and results.
"I'm proud that Seattle City Light is again recognized for our enduring commitment to the environment at the Skagit," said utility Superintendent Gary Zarker. "All of us here take pride in our accomplishments on the river and what it means to the well-being of salmon and other wildlife," he added.
Seattle City Light's Skagit project was selected for the utility's many years of work to improve water quality, enhance habitat, restore fisheries, protect endangered species, and permanently conserve land for the protection of wildlife. The utility's careful monitoring of water resources protects spawning Chinook, pink, chum salmon and steelhead and supports them in early stages of life. More than 8,100 acres of critical habitat have been set aside through land purchases benefitting such species as bald eagles, black bear, songbirds and amphibians as well as salmon.
The Skagit River is now home to the largest and healthiest runs of wild chum and pink salmon Pacific Northwest. Many spawn directly below the project. Four to six-fold increases in spawning numbers in the river reach below the dam have been documented in recent years.
Seattle City Light, the city's municipal utility, operates three hydroelectric plants located on the Skagit River within the Ross Lake National Recreation Area of the North Cascades National Park.
The National Hydropower Association is a non-profit trade association that promotes the use of clean, renewable and reliable hydroelectric power.
Electronic links to the complete report on the Skagit and NHA's news release may be found at: