The Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Council appointed Seattle City Light Aquatic Biologist Ed Connor as a representative of its Puget Sound Recovery Implementation Technical Team (RITT), a regional advisory group that provides scientific support and guidance for salmon recovery.
“This is a key team for working on salmon recovery in the Puget Sound,” Connor said, “It’s an honor to be on it.”
Seattle City Light generates about 18 percent of the electricity for its customers at three hydroelectric dams on the Skagit River, which is the only river in Washington that is home to all five types of salmon plus steelhead and endangered bull trout. City Light takes its stewardship of that resource seriously, working to protect the fish in the river by managing water flows while it generates power for people.
During his 12 years at City Light, Connor continually improved the utility’s endangered species early action program through conservation land acquisition projects, working with partners in the watersheds on habitat restoration, and research projects on endangered fish species. Connor brings to the recovery team valuable practical experience on the Skagit River, where City Light operates three hydroelectric dams.
Connor is the only member of the team working for a utility or local government. He hopes to bring in a new perspective through his knowledge of managing river flows to protect fish, and through his recovery and research work with Chinook salmon, steelhead, and bull trout.
“Ed’s selection is a tribute to the high regard his and City Light’s work on fish protection and recovery is held by agencies and the tribes,” City Light Environmental Affairs Director Lynn Best said.
Connor’s appointment lasts for four years. He will be working with the technical team to help carry out monitoring actions and salmon recovery plans within the Puget Sound. The team provides technical and scientific guidance to the Salmon Recovery Council, watershed groups, state and federal agencies, tribes and conservation organizations working on salmon recovery in the Puget Sound.
Seattle City Light is the 10th largest public electric utility in the United States. It has some of the lowest cost customer rates of any urban utility, providing reliable, renewable and environmentally responsible power to nearly 1 million Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.