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Catherine Soper
Public Affairs Manager

Union Slough Mitigation expansion complete; re-opens to the public

Post Date:12/19/2005

Everett, Wash. - After three months of construction, the Union Slough Restoration Site expansion project is complete, and has re-opened to the public.

The expansion project, which is located north of Everett along Highway 529, added approximately 4.6 acres to the existing 19.3-acre site to provide mitigation for the construction impacts of the Port of Everett's 12th Street Marina project, now named the 12th Street Yacht Basin.

"The beauty of the Union Slough Restoration site as a mitigation site is that we know it works because we have done it before at the same site," said Jon Houghton, marine/fisheries biologist with Pentec Environmental. "Because the 12th Street waterway was historically used for log storage, the Union Slough Restoration Site is expected to be a more ecologically productive habitat than the area of the waterway that has been deepened for marina construction."

This expansion project further increased the shallow brackish water habitat for native fish, shellfish, tiny shrimp-like animals and shorebirds in the area. Overall, the Union Slough site has exceeded all the productivity criteria set forth by the Port's mitigation plan since February 2001 when the site first opened up to tidal circulation, Houghton said. The initial 19.3-acre mitigation site was restored to offset construction impacts of projects at the Port's existing marine terminals and marina facilities.

"Union Slough, even though it is man-made, is similar to natural marshes throughout Snohomish County," said Graham Anderson, senior planner for the Port of Everett. "The productivity of the nearly 24 acres supports an entire food web that ranges from marsh and mudflat, to shore birds, salmon and Dungeness crab."

The public is encouraged to visit the Union Slough site during daylight hours to see a productive habitat at work, but please be mindful of the warning signs that signify softness in the soils exposed at low tide, Anderson said.

The Union Slough site is dedicated to the memory of Jack R. Olson, who served as the Port of Everett Director of Engineering from 1990 to 1998, and the Director of Engineering & Planning from 1998 to 2001. Olson oversaw many of the Port's engineering projects and took special interested in the Union Slough Salt Marsh Restoration project.

For more information about the Union Slough Mitigation expansion project, please contact Lisa Mandt, Community Relations Representative at 425-388-0617 or by e-mail.

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