Spencer Island Restoration Project

Latest news

Read all project updates below.

Spencer Island is located in the Snohomish River estuary east of the City of Everett. The island is a flat, tidal wetland complex ringed with an old dike with several openings and bridges that serve as a trail. Steamboat Slough borders the property to the east and Union Slough borders the property to the west. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and Snohomish County purchased the property in 1989 under a joint acquisition and co-management agreement, with WDFW owning 174 acres on the north end and Snohomish County owning 240 acres on the south end of the island.

In the early 1900s, the site was diked and developed for grazing and agriculture, resulting in the loss of tidally influenced wetlands and channels. In 1994, Snohomish County completed a restoration project that involved removing sections of dike that allowed tidal water and fish into the southern portion of the property.  In 2005, the dike failed on the northern WDFW portion of the site that allowed tides and fish into the entirety of the site. Although the entire site is now tidally inundated, remnant dikes and ditches still occur on the island that reduce habitat benefits for salmon and other species that rely on tidal wetlands.

WDFW is early in the planning phase of this project, and will be working with stakeholders and partners to develop a preliminary design for the project. We anticipate holding a public meeting in mid-2023 to solicit feedback on the project.

Project benefits

  • Restore large river delta that provides valuable nursery habitat for juvenile threatened salmon species, increasing survival and supporting Puget Sound population recovery
  • Restore highly productive tidal wetland habitats that support biodiversity and provide connectivity between land and sea
  • Improve water flow and nutrient transport

Community engagement


Public meetings and open houses that WDFW and project partners have hosted.

Conceptual Design Online Public Meeting 



Contact information

For more information about the Spencer Island Restoration Project, please contact Lindsey Desmul at lindsey.desmul@dfw.wa.gov.