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a riverbank with overgrown foliage is pictured in the foreground of a waterway with buildings in the background
Lower Duwamish River bank where the Bluefield Holding's restoration site is located (Credit: NOAA).

Settlement with Lynden, Inc. to Fund Habitat Restoration Along the Lower Duwamish River

April 6, 2023

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington finalized a settlement (PDF, 34 pages) between the members of the Elliott Bay Trustee Council and Lynden, Inc. and related companies (collectively, Lynden), which will fund habitat restoration along the Lower Duwamish River in Seattle, Washington. 

The Elliott Bay Trustee Council includes NOAA, the U.S. Department of the Interior, the State of Washington, the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, and the Suquamish Indian Tribe. This settlement resolves the liability of Lynden for injuries to natural resources harmed by hazardous substances released from Lynden’s facilities to the Lower Duwamish River.

As part of the settlement, Lynden will partially fund a restoration project previously constructed by Bluefield Holdings, Inc., a private restoration bank developer, to restore habitat for juvenile salmon, other fish, migratory birds, and other wildlife. As presented in a previously released restoration plan (PDF, 30 pages), Bluefield Holdings, Inc.’s “Restoration Project One” restored approximately one acre of riparian, marsh, mudflat, and subtidal habitats in the West Waterway of the Lower Duwamish River. These habitat types are scarce in the Lower Duwamish River and serve as important food sources, providing rearing, refuge, and spawning areas for fish and other wildlife harmed by releases of hazardous substances and discharges of oil. 

In addition, Lynden will provide a lump sum payment of $556,250 to be used toward future restoration that aligns with the Trustees’ 2013 Restoration Plan (PDF, 124 pages), and $31,528 to reimburse the Trustees for a portion of outstanding damage assessment costs.

The consent decree was filed with the Court in January, and was open for a 30-day public comment period prior to finalization.