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WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE     Print Version
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

ARCHIVED NEWS RELEASE
This document is provided for archival purposes only.
Archived documents do not reflect current WDFW regulations or policy and may contain factual inaccuracies.

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October 10, 2014
Contact: Theresa Mitchell, (360) 902-2750

Public comment sought on plan
to restore Puget Sound shoreline

OLYMPIA - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) are seeking public comments on a tentative proposal for restoring more than 5,000 acres of Puget Sound shoreline habitat.

A 45-day comment period on the Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project (PSNERP) draft feasibility report and environmental impact statement (FR/EIS) runs from Oct. 10 through Nov. 24. In addition, the proposal and the process through which it was developed will be discussed at a public information meeting from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5, in the council chambers of Burlington City Hall, 833 South Spruce St.

Theresa Mitchell, WDFW project manager, said PSNERP began in 2001 as a partnership between the Army Corps and WDFW to identify large-scale projects that could reverse human-caused degradation of the Puget Sound shoreline and nearshore environment. The project also includes several tribal, state, federal and non-governmental organizations.

She said the project participants evaluated more than 500 potential restoration sites. The tentative proposal - one of three alternatives considered in the report - identifies 11 sites for restoration of natural habitat features that support many commercially, recreationally and culturally valuable species.

The proposal identifies the following sites for habitat restoration:

  • Beaconsfield Feeder Bluff in Normandy Park;
  • Deepwater Slough south of Conway;
  • Deer Harbor Estuary at Orcas Island;
  • Dugualla Bay at Whidbey Island;
  • Everett Marshland in Everett;
  • Livingston Bay at Camano Island;
  • Milltown Island south of Conway;
  • Nooksack River Delta north of Bellingham;
  • North Fork Skagit River Delta southeast of La Conner;
  • Telegraph Slough north of La Conner; and
  • Spencer Island in Everett.

Mitchell said after Nov. 24, the Army Corps will review the comments and revise the FR/EIS before submitting it to Congress in fall of 2015. Congress will decide whether to authorize the projects and appropriate funds to complete additional design and construction. Federal funding would represent 65 percent of the total $1.1 billion project costs. State, local and other non-federal sources would contribute the remaining 35 percent.

PSNERP is one of the largest habitat restoration projects undertaken in the United States. Under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Army Corps and WDFW are required to evaluate the environmental, economic and social impacts of the alternatives being considered, including the preferred alternative.

The public may comment on the draft FR/EIS by sending emails to nearshore@usace.army.mil, by attending the public meeting, or by sending written remarks to Nancy C. Gleason at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, CENWS-EN-ER, P.O. Box 3755, Seattle, WA 98124-3755. Mailed comments must be postmarked by Nov. 24.

Additional background information is available online: