USGS Washington Water Science Center
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After irrigating croplands, water returned to creeks and rivers in the Yakima River Basin can contribute compounds and materials that affect the quality of habitat. On lands of the Yakama Nation, Satus Creek receives water from the North Drain that brings with it sediment, nutrients, bacteria, and pesticides, degrading the aquatic habitat and posing a barrier for endangered fish in the creek.
A large-scale restoration effort by the Yakama Nation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is currently under way to improve the habitat quality of Satus Creek and the adjacent Satus Wildlife Area.
To help the Yakama Nation and the Corps complete the feasibility study for the restoration, determine the outcome of the effort, and provide proof of its effects, the USGS is monitoring hydrologic, water-quality, and possibly biological effects in the basin over time.