NSEA & Salmon Recovery

Rachel Vasak

Executive Director, Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association

Start Time & Date

Start Time & Date


Western Washington University has shifted to entirely online classes for Spring, 2020. As such, the Huxley Speaker Series is revisiting some of our favorite presentations from the Archives.

This talk was originally presented as part of the Huxley Speaker Series in Fall 2016.


Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA) sprang to life in the 1980s when a group of concerned volunteers united to try to reverse the trend of declining salmon runs in Whatcom County. In 1991, NSEA incorporated as a nonprofit, becoming one of 14 Regional Fisheries Enhancement Groups in Washington State. Over the years, NSEA crews, students and community volunteers have planted more than 250,000 trees and shrubs to turn degraded stream banks into functional buffers that improve water quality. Since 1999, more than 20,000 Whatcom County students have been involved in NSEA education programs, all at no cost to area school districts, students or parents. And in the last 10 years alone, NSEA has opened over 50 miles of stream habitat by removing 70 fish passage barriers.

Vasak will describe in detail NSEA’s work to improve river, creek and riparian habitat while educating people of all ages to ensure Pacific salmon and Steelhead are provided the best chance for survival.

Rachel Vasak

Rachel Vasak graduated from WWU with a degree in Environmental Engineering Geology, and has worked at Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA) in a variety of capacities since 1996. She has served NSEA in her current role of Executive Director since 2008, managing NSEA’s personnel, funding, budgeting, investments, strategic priorities, risk management, and a recently completed capital campaign and project to purchase and renovate a permanent facility for NSEA to work from.

More Information

The Huxley Environmental Speaker Series is hosted by Huxley College of the Environment at Western Washington University.

The Series is free and open to the public.

Location & Time

Presentations are held each Thursday at 4:30pm On-campus and ONLINE.


Due to the pandemic, the in-person presentations are not open to the public. However, the talks will be live-streamed ONLINE for the off-campus audience.


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