Looking ahead, the latest research continues to explore and test innovative ways of thinking. In collaboration with the Skagit River System Cooperative team, TNC scientists are considering an important question: how can a restoration project influence neighboring areas? Can increasing channel connectivity in a critical location enhance Chinook distribution across the entire estuary? Can certain channel connections influence habitat conditions enough to ultimately affect the growth potential and survival of young fish moving through the system? By better understanding the biology of the fish and how they interact with the environment, we can adapt restoration work to address the evolving impact of climate change with greater precision.
As part of a network of restoration and land management projects, each one is like a collaborative, learning and innovation space able share knowledge from the other and in theory, recovery could cascade across the whole of the delta, beyond the borders of the preserve.
Advancing conservation is a large-scale, ongoing collaborative effort between TNC scientists and fellow partners. From preserve managers and project engineers to community members and tribal scientists—throughout the restoration process, a focus on collective success to meet not just conservation outcomes, but the goals of local communities, partners, and ecosystems will drive success that lasts.