Watershed Restoration

Black Slough Reach Restoration Project

The Black Slough Reach Restoration Project (or Black Slough Project) is located on the South Fork (SF) Nooksack River near Van Zandt, river mile (RM) 1.5 and 3, and the Potter Road Bridge. Downstream portions of the Black Slough tributary channel may be included in the project design. The Black Slough Project aims to improve habitat conditions for endangered SF Nooksack early Chinook (chinook) salmon and reduce flood risk throughout the area.

First Community Workshop Scheduled for September 10th, 2024 at 6 pm!

Postcards will be mailed with more information.


Site map of the project area.Site map of the project area.
Site map of the Black Slough Reach Restoration Project.Vicinity map of the Black Slough Reach Restoration Project.

Community Outreach

The Black Slough Reach Restoration Project, led by Lummi Nation and supported by its engineering team, Natural Systems Design + Coastal Geologic Services (NSD), and outreach consultant, Triangle (project team), is one of several similar projects currently underway in the area that you may already be aware of. The project is being planned in close coordination with these other efforts which include: ·

  • Skookum Edfro Phase 1; Lummi Nation (RM 14.2 to 14)
  • Skookum Edfro Phase 3 Restoration Project (RM 14 to 12.7)
  • South Fork Nooksack River Fish Camp (Ts’eq) Reach Integrated Design Project; Nooksack Tribe and Whatcom County as co-leads (RM 9.5 to 7.2) 
  • SF Nooksack (Nuxw7íyem) Hardscrabble/Todd Reach Restoration Project (RM 5.1 to 3.2)

Current Work 

The project team is currently assessing geomorphic and hydraulic conditions in the river channel and adjacent banks and floodplains. Team members plan to conduct site visits within the next 3-4 weeks to gather the data necessary to complete these assessments. You may receive a phone call, email, or letter asking for permission to to access the river via your property.

Next Steps 

The engineering team will build upon existing understanding of geomorphic and hydrologic processes in the SFNR developed from recent project experience supporting the Nooksack Tribe with the Hardscrabble-Todd Reach and Homesteader Reach Restoration designs immediately upstream for the Black Slough project reach. The design team will collaborate with LNR to refine project objectives and identify project constraints.

A suite of conceptual design alternatives will be developed to include design elements such as removal of riprap bank hardening, riparian planting, targeted excavation to increase access to or establish new off-channel habitat, placement of ELJs, side channel creation, and suggestions for targeted land acquisition. At the conceptual design phase NSD will work to identify and advance the restoration potential of the reach, irrespective of FEMA floodplain and other permitting constraints. The alternatives will be presented to stakeholders during community workshops. Geomorphic, hydraulic, habitat, and climate change analyses will be completed to inform design development. The selected alternative will then be adapted to work within FEMA floodplain and other constraints to develop Preliminary and Final (90%) Design levels. Final (90%) Design plans, Basis of Design Report, materials schedules, and cost estimates will then be prepared. A Final Planset will then be prepared for construction.

Opportunities to weigh in on various aspects of the project, including but not limited to:

  • The scope and scale of the problems the project is intended to address. 
  • Thoughts and concerns regarding results of preliminary geomorphic and hydraulic assessment.
  • Techniques to reduce flooding while increasing salmon habitat. 
  • Preferred design alternative.

If you would like to schedule a phone call to discuss this project, please e-mail outreach@triangleassociates.com


Please feel free to contact either of the project co-leads with questions.

Alex Levell

Lummi Nation Natural Resources Department

Phone: 360-410-1988 (cell)

Email: alexl@lummi-nsn.gov

Kelley Turner

Lummi Nation

Natural Resources Department

Phone: (360) 306-7244 (cell)

Email: KelleyT@lummi-nsn.gov

For information regarding engagement opportunities, to schedule a phone call, or to be added to the Listserv, contact

Kate Galambos

Triangle Associates

Phone: (360) 583-3408

Email: outreach@triangleassociates.com