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Duwamish River People's Park Habitat Restoration and Shoreline Access Project

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Construction Updates and Major Milestones
Habitat restoration efforts are underway at the Duwamish River People's Park and Shoreline Habitat. Over the summer, installation begins for the rock steps, sitting wall, boat launch, pedestrian bridge and sidewalks, fencing, and electrical infrastructure. Excavation and grading work at the North Site is wrapping up, with shoreline anchoring logs and marsh fabric installed throughout the project site. 
  • What's Next: In early Fall, you'll begin to see public art features, a bike rack, and a water fountain installed.

The Duwamish River People's Park and Shoreline Habitat (formerly Terminal 117) project will restore 14 acres of habitat and shoreline access. Restoration efforts will create upland habitat and restore priority habitat for Chinook salmon and other imperiled species along 2,000 feet of the Duwamish River shoreline. The site has been identified by other local, state, tribe, and federal officials as a high-priority habitat restoration area that will benefit the community for decades to come.

Aerial rendering of the Terminal 117 habitat restoration
The project will provide 2,000 feet of shoreline habitat, support salmon recovery, and public shoreline access. 

    Purpose

    • Community Capacity Building: Investing in Long-Term Community Assets. Based on community feedback in 2013-2014, the habitat site will feature public amenities desired by the local Duwamish Valley community. The site will include a viewpoint pier, accessible pathways/trails, seating, environmental interpretation signage, public art, and a hand-carry boat launch. The project achieves the Port's “triple-bottom” line approach and aligns with the goals of  Resolution 3767, the Duwamish Valley Community Benefits Commitment.
    • Healthy Environment and Communities: Restoring Salmon Habitat. The project restores 14 acres of estuarine habitat in the Duwamish River, including sub-tidal aquatic area, inter-tidal sediment slopes, inter-tidal marsh, and native riparian/forested buffer. In this habitat area, out-migrating juvenile Chinook salmon are able to acclimate into saltwater environments further downstream, giving them a greater chance for survival as they navigate the Puget Sound. This project contributes to salmon recovery in the region, which can also support the endangered Southern Resident orca population.
    • Economic Prosperity in Place: Funding a Green Economy. The project establishes a local “habitat credit bank” as a mitigation tool that enables third parties to invest in habitat projects as mitigation credits to comply with the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act. Revenue generated by credit transactions in the site's mitigation bank can be re-invested in additional habitat restoration projects in the Green-Duwamish Watershed and Elliott Bay. In addition, the site will serve as a learning lab for young environmentalists seeking skills training and hands-on experience with careers in habitat restoration and marine wildlife conservation.

    Construction Schedule

    Summer 2020 – Spring 2022

    View our quarterly mailers to all South Park and Georgetown businesses and residents to learn about project updates and community events!

    Aerial map of the project site with Phase 1 and Phase 2 work zones identified

    Estimated Project Cost

    The project is estimated to cost $25.9 million and will utilize previously approved Environmental Remediation Liability funding (tax levy) in addition to funds from a 2008 insurance settlement. 

    Event Materials and Related Documents

    Spring and Summer 2021
    July 2020
      May 2020
      April 2020
      • Press release for Commission authorization to begin habitat restoration
      • Video recording of Port Commission meeting for habitat restoration authorization 
        (public comment begins at 15:30, presentation begins 3:37:09)

      Project History

      Duwamish River People's Park (formerly referred to as Terminal 117), located south of the South Park Marina on the Duwamish River, used to be a Superfund “Early Action Site” because of pollution caused by the Duwamish Manufacturing and Malarkey Asphalt Company until it ceased operations in 1993. The Port acquired a portion of the property in 1999. In 2003, the EPA designated Terminal 117 a Superfund site and the Port and City of Seattle were responsible for cleaning up the contamination.

      In 2007, the community advocated with the Port Commission to transform the cleaned-up property into a public park, and the Commission agreed. During the Superfund cleanup, the Port opened a field office in South Park and conducted community engagement for design ideas on the proposed habitat and park. The Port finished its portion of the cleanup in 2015. In 2020, construction begins!

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