SEATTLE’S THORNTON CREEK, A BLUEPRINT FOR ENHANCING BIODIVERSITY THROUGH A SYSTEMS APPROACH: “You can restore the hyporheic zone. You can restore natural processes to the extent that we are actually attracting salmon to the site to spawn. I think there really is hope for the future,” stated Katherine Lynch, stream biologist with Seattle Public Utilities (May 2022)
Across North America and the world, cities have bulldozed their waterways into submission. Seattle was as guilty as any until 1999 when Chinook salmon were listed as an endangered species. In 2004 biologist Katherine Lynch was sitting through yet another meeting on how to solve these problems when she had an epiphany. Maybe restoration projects were failing because they were overlooking a little-known feature damaged by urbanization: the stream’s “gut”. A stream is a system. It includes not just the water coursing between the banks but the earth, life and water around and under it.