Backyard Habitat Program

Helping landowners take action to restore stream habitat for fish and wildlife on their properties. 

Kitsap county residents have shown an interest in preserving the health of watershed they live in, and the Backyard Habitat Program provides the funding and assistance to make the project possible.  There are many questions that come with living along the stream and even more when it comes to working in the stream to make improvements.  Erosion control, stream health, noxious weeds, flooding and permitting are common concerns that we can help with.  Success is realized when fish are seen using the new habitat created and the landowners know they have left their stream healthier than how they found it.

Ask about a Backyard Habitat Grant for your property! Now accepting applications.

These projects will help restore streams to natural conditions, improve fish and wildlife habitat, and stabilize banks:

  • Planting stream side areas with native plants
  • Removing debris
  • Removing undersized culverts, old dams or concrete structures to improve fish passage
  • Removing noxious weeds and replacing with native plants
  • Adding woody debris and stream gravel to enhance streams

Projects should emphasize physical implementation, and more project ideas are welcome.

Contact Carin Anderson at (360) 204-5529 Ext 122 or carin-anderson@conservewa.net for questions about the program and application process.  You can also request a site visit.

Backyard Habitat Grants are funded under the Kitsap County Surface and Stormwater Management (SSWM) Program.


Look at These Ways You Can Improve Your Stream

Projects like these will help restore streams to natural conditions, improve fish and wildlife habitat, reduce erosion and can improve the look of your stream side area:

 

Planting stream side areas with native plants

Driftwood Keys Planting Planting stream side areas will provide many water quality and habitat benefits, and look beautiful.  Plants and leaf litter provide food and shelter for wildlife and insects.  Root systems of established plants will stabilize stream banks.  Plants can also uptake and clean pollutants in surface water, and provide shade to reduce water temperature, improving stream water quality.

 

Clean up refuse in the steam

Stanfill Weed & Refuse removal Over the years streams have been used as dumping grounds, or a place to get refuse out of site. Whether it is old tires, metal pipes, or just trash, these substances degrade over time and can impact water quality.


Removing undersized culverts, old dams or concrete structures to improve fish passage

Ritscher before With so many streams and road crossings in Kitsap County, undersized culverts have restricted access to miles of salmon spawning and rearing habitat.  Additionally, streams overtop roadways and cause erosion. Removing an undersized culvert  or blockage is a win-win for landowners and fish.

Removing noxious weeds and replacing with native plants

Driftwood DOC weed removal Himalayan blackberry, English Ivy and Scotch broom can take over a stream side in no time and prevent the growth of native trees and shrubs that provide better and more diverse habitat.  Removing weeds and replacing them with natives give the stream the ability to heal itself long-term.


Adding woody debris and stream gravel to enhance streams

Barker Creek Bridge & LWD (FFFPP) Have you ever been hiking and noticed the number of logs and pools is a stream system that has not been impacted by humans?  Wood creates habitat pools for where spawning salmon can rest and juvenile salmon take shelter.  It can also slow the movement of water, reducing erosion, and control sediment transport.  Clean gravel is also needed for salmon to spawn in.

Remove concrete or rip-rap banks and stabilize using bioengineering techniques

Stanfill before Stanfill after