Over 45 Acres of Habitat Restoration Proposed at Port Gardner site in Everett, Washington

View of a calm river with green plants on banks.
Union Slough is a branch of the Snohomish River which feeds into Port Gardner Bay. These sloughs are critical to the survival of many species of salmonids.

Over 45 Acres of Habitat Restoration Proposed at Port Gardner site in Everett, Washington

June 3, 2019

 

June 3, 2019 - Today the Department of Justice announced that a consent decree was lodged in the hazardous waste case of Port Gardner Bay Area in Everett, Washington, proposing projects to restore the Snohomish river and estuary to offset  impacts from industrial pollution.

Under the proposed settlement, two responsible parties, Port of Everett and U.S. Navy, will contribute to habitat restoration at the Blue Heron Slough Restoration Project in the Snohomish River Estuary.

The Port of Everett will build 39.74 acres of large-scale habitat restoration, and conduct long-term monitoring and maintenance.

In addition, the U.S Navy will provide $789,849 to purchase 5.93 acres for the Blue Heron Slough Restoration Project. This will supplement the Port of Everett’s ongoing restoration work. Both parties will also reimburse their share of the assessment costs.

This is the second Consent Decree for this site in recent years. The first Consent Decree was lodged  in January of 2018, resolving the liability of three companies.

The natural resource injuries resolved in both consent decrees stemmed from releases of oil and hazardous substances into the Port Gardner Bay.

The Port Gardner and Snohomish River estuary provides important spawning, rearing, and feeding areas for many fish and wildlife species, including protected salmon.

The restoration included in this settlement will preserve and enhance critical habitats like marsh, intertidal mudflat, floodplains and riparian habitat to benefit fish and wildlife.

After the initial restoration is completed, the Blue Heron Slough Restoration Project will continue to be monitored and maintained. This will ensure that this important habitat will benefit fish and wildlife species long into the future.

NOAA worked alongside co-trustees, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, the Tulalip Tribes, Washington Department of Ecology, and the Squamish tribe, to assess impacts and develop a restoration plan.

The public can view and comment on the consent decree on the Department of Justice website.