Intensive monitoring conducted before and after the restoration work has allowed scientists to track a variety of biophysical and biological changes as a result of large-scale restoration. Adaptive management efforts have informed Refuge and USGS about what’s working well, and what can still be improved. Such long-term monitoring is crucial for understanding the complexities of the Nisqually Restoration.

Monitoring units are located across the Nisqually Delta, providing a complete picture of habitat recovery. Pilot, Phase I and Phase II units were restored by the Nisqually Indian Tribe beginning in 1996, while all units to the west of the Nisqually River comprised the 2009 restoration unit. In addition, the units ‘Animal’ and ‘Red Salmon Reference’ are reference sites to the monitoring. 

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» Aerial Photography and Remote Sensing
» Estuary and Nearshore Changes
» Geomorphology and Sedimentation
» Tidal Inundation
» Vegetation
» Birds
» Fish
» Photo-documentation