The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is setting priorities and building momentum for a future large estuary restoration site in the Snohomish River estuary. This project will assess feasibility and recommend how and where to advance ecosystem restoration on three properties: Spencer Island (429 acres), the north tip of Ebey Island (191 acres), and a property known as "DD6" (426 acres).
Each of these properties are located in historic tidal wetland in the Snohomish River delta. Tidal flow on these properties is either restricted or eliminated by perimeter dikes and tide gates that lie directly between the project areas and tidal waters. The entire project area is publicly owned, either by WDFW or Snohomish County.
Tidal marsh in the lower Snohomish River provides important rearing habitat for Chinook salmon and other species. However, 90% of these historic estuary habitats were lost due to diking. This loss of rearing habitat is considered one of the primary factors limiting recovery of Chinook salmon, which are listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act.
The Snohomish Basin Salmon Recovery Forum has identified the restoration of tidally influenced habitat in the Snohomish River estuary as a priority for Chinook salmon recovery in the basin.
Led by WDFW and facilitated by Triangle Associates, an advisory group will meet from December 2020 to March 2021 to identify hurdles and benefits for restoration on each property. When complete, WDFW and Triangle will compile the results into a project prioritization report that recommends which property to focus on for the next restoration effort. This document will recognize hurdles to restoration and will scope what may be needed to overcome them in a subsequent planning and design phase. The report is intended to be used to secure funding and focus energy and efforts towards the next large project within the Snohomish estuary.
Contacts and member info
- Mike Rustay, Snohomish County Surface Water Management
- Frank Leonetti, Snohomish County Surface Water Management
- Scott Moore, Snohomish County Surface Water Management
- Lisa Tario, Snohomish County Surface Water Management
- Kye Iris, Snohomish County Parks
- Sharon Swan, Snohomish County Parks
- Grant Moen, City of Everett
- Raelynn Asah, Puget Sound Energy
- Karen Worcester, Puget Sound Energy
- Patrick Robinson, Puget Sound Energy
- Eliza McGovern, Washington State Department of Transportation
- Morgan Ruff, Tulalip Tribes
- Brett Shattuck, Tulalip Tribes
- Matt Baerwalde, Snoqualmie Tribe
- Josh Chamberlin, NOAA
- Jim Shannon, Hart Crowser for Port of Everett
- CK Eidem, Ducks Unlimited
- Molly Bogeberg, The Nature Conservancy