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Port Prioritizes Community, Restoration, and Opportunity Along the Duwamish River

"Once in a generation" efforts to continue, providing opportunity across the region
February 1, 2024

The Duwamish River provides our region with important community assets, recreational fishing and tribal cultural heritage resources, and a critical estuarine environment for fish and wildlife. The river has played a crucial role in developing our region’s economy for over a hundred years; today local maritime and industrial businesses employ over 100,000 people and support more than 25% of the manufacturing in King County.

“The Port of Seattle will continue to support community needs along the Duwamish. The Port has established and expanded the use of its community hub in South Park to provide for the next two years — and potentially longer — the meeting space, educational and job training services, and more direct access to Port resources,” said Port of Seattle Commission President Hamdi Mohamed. “The Port continues to invest in environmental programs aimed at cleanup and salmon habitat restoration, while promoting the green jobs necessary to sustain this work for generations and provide opportunities for living-wage jobs across our region.”


2024 will see an increase in the Port of Seattle’s commitment to people along and near the Duwamish River. Since 2017, the Port-established Port Community Action Team (PCAT) has worked with communities to ensure their voices are heard at all levels of decision-making that could impact their neighborhoods. The Green Jobs Program has provided instruction and training at thirteen shoreline sites, including the Lake Washington Ship Canal, Elliott Bay, and Duwamish Waterway locations.

“Over the last several years, we have successfully partnered with Duwamish communities to expand employment and career growth opportunities,” said Port of Seattle Commission Vice President Toshiko Hasegawa. “These Port of Seattle programs and services are intended to create opportunity for all and represent our efforts to put our equity values in action. As we begin 2024, we look forward to another year where we can provide prosperity and economic justice together.”

The Port of Seattle has spent more than $80 million to date under the Superfund program alone for cleanup and restoration projects, including soil and in-water sediments cleanup at Duwamish River People’s Park, formerly known as Terminal 117, and subsequent habitat restoration; Lower Duwamish Waterway and East Waterway sediments investigation and cleanup design; and cleanup and source control activities at adjacent upland facilities.

Opened in 2022, Duwamish River People’s Park became the largest habitat restoration and public access project completed on the Duwamish River in a generation. This 14-acre site not only provides critical habitat for threatened chinook salmon but has become a gem for the community providing needed open space and river access for the South Park neighborhood.

While none of the Lower Duwamish Waterway’s most contaminated areas are attributable to the Port of Seattle or its tenants, the Port has made significant investments to improve conditions in the Duwamish River and surrounding community. The Port of Seattle’s work includes financially supporting federal Superfund and state cleanups, restoring critical habitat, developing public access spaces, establishing the Duwamish Valley Community Benefits Commitment, and investing in the next generation of leaders through job training, internships, and partnership with the Highline School District’s Maritime High School.

The Port looks ahead to continuing these successes in 2024 with progress on several upland investigations to identify legacy contamination and identify cleanup options at T25, T108, and T115 and planning for bank line softening projects at Centennial Park and T5 Southeast as well as ongoing habitat stewardship work across habitat sites along the Duwamish River.


Peter McGraw | Port of Seattle Senior Media Officer 
(206) 787-3446 |

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