Story by Brian Davis on 02/15/2019
MANCHESTER, Wash.-- The Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center (NAVSUP FLC) Puget Sound Fuel Department hosted local high school students for a salmon release project at Naval Base Kitsap-Manchester Feb. 7.
Students and faculty advisors from Discovery Alternative High School in Port Orchard, Washington, along with representatives from the Port Orchard Rotary Club released 15,000 newly hatched Coho salmon into Beaver Creek, a waterway that runs through the Manchester Fuel Depot and flows into Puget Sound's Clam Bay.
"We have been working with Discovery Alternative School for a number of years to support their efforts, which has been historically pretty successful at reestablishing the Coho salmon run on Beaver Creek, said Glenn Schmitt, Deputy Director of the NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound Fuel Department.
The students obtain salmon eggs from the state of Washington, and care for them at the Karcher Creek hatchery, a facility owned by the Port Orchard Rotary. Once the fish hatch, the students monitor their development for about one month until the hatchlings absorb their yolk sacs, known as the fry stage. Once the juvenile fish reach the fry stage, they are ready for release into the wild, according to Travis Avery, a senior at Discovery Alternative High School.
Beaver Creek was the subject of a superfund mitigation project initiated on Manchester Fuel Depot in 2003 with the goal of restoring the natural habitat and enhancing the migration of Pacific Northwest salmon species. The restoration project, intended to bring the waterway back to its pre-World War II condition, was declared completed in 2016.
As a result of the Navy's environmental efforts, Beaver Creek was considered a prime location for the salmon release project.
"This spot was recommended by the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife," said Jerry Polley, a teacher at Discovery Alternative High School and faculty advisor for the project. "This is the ideal."
According to Polley, the geographic area where the fish are released will be "imprinted" on the fish as their birthplace. Once released into the wild, the hatchlings will make their way to the ocean. Those that survive to adulthood will instinctively return to their place of birth, or in this case release point, to spawn.
Students involved in the project were aware of the real-world importance of the project, and of the impact a successful salmon release program can have on the future salmon population.
"It's a good thing to do for the environment, and a chance to give something to future generations, our grandchildren," said Jazmine Carrill, a junior at Discovery Alternative High School.
The Manchester Fuel Depot, located at Naval Base Kitsap-Manchester, is managed by the NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound Fuel Department. The fuel depot's mission is to provide customers with top quality military specification fuel, lubricants, and additives used by land, sea, and air forces. The facility issues, manages, and receives bulk petroleum products and is tasked with ensuring compliance of product quality, inventory control, and environmental regulations. Manchester Fuel Depot provides fuels support for U.S. and allied forces throughout the Puget Sound region and the Pacific Rim.
NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound is one of eight FLCs under Commander, NAVSUP. Headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and employing a diverse, worldwide workforce of more than 22,500 military and civilian personnel, NAVSUP's mission is to provide supplies, services, and quality-of-life support to the Navy and joint warfighter. Learn more at www.navsup.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/navsup and https://twitter.com/navsupsyscom.
NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound provides operational logistics, business and support services to Navy, Coast Guard, Military Sealift Command, and other Joint and Allied Forces. Products and services include contracting, fuels, global logistics, hazardous material management, household goods, integrated logistics support, material management, postal, regional transportation and warehousing.