Washington

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Caption: (l - r) Rebecca Hoff, Jason Lehto, Laurel Jennings, Debra Salstrom, Tom Elliott, and Dr. David Pyke (NOAA Photo)

Understanding Habitat Recovery Time for Restoration Planning in Washington State

Five NOAA scientists recently led a group of more than 40 trustees in a multi-day restoration planning exercise related to the Hanford Nuclear Site. The event took place in Richland, Washington, and increased scientific convergence about habitat recovery time after restoration actions are completed in an affected area.

(l - r) RADM Tim Gallaudet, assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and acting under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere; Kurt Nelson, fish and water resources scientist, the Tulalip Tribes; Rebecca Hoff, NOAA environmental scientist and regional resource coordinator; Jennifer Steger, NOAA Restoration Center, regional supervisor. NOAA photo.

Washington Project Showcased to New NOAA Leader: Restoration Benefits Fish, Wildlife, and Local Communities

RADM Tim Gallaudet, acting under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere, toured the Qwuloolt Estuary restoration project in Marysville, Washington, on January 26, 2018, to see an example of NOAA’s Damage Assessment Remediation and Restoration Program (DARRP) success.

$4 million Settlement Reached to Help NOAA Restore Port Gardner and Snohomish River Habitat

The U.S. Department of Justice announced a $4 million settlement that will fund some of NOAA’s restoration of sites damaged by industrial pollution in Port Gardner Bay and the Snohomish River in Washington state.

Sockeye salmon.

Expanding a Washington River’s Floodplain to Protect Northwest Salmon and Communities

Recently NOAA and our partners announced a restoration project that will improve the floodplain of the White River in Washington State for migrating fish. 

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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.

Port Gardner

Hazardous Waste Site | Everett, Washington | Early 1900s to Present

Cutting through south Seattle, the Duwamish is an industrial river.

Lower Duwamish River

Hazardous Waste Site | Washington State | Mid-20th Century

What Happened?

The Duwamish River was once a wide, meandering river with large areas of mudflats and marshes. By the 1940s, channelization and filling had transformed the 9-mile estuary into a 5-mile industrial waterway. This process destroyed 97 percent of the original habitat.

The Karileen restoration project is designed to provide enhancements to fish and wildlife habitat on the west branch of Hylebos Creek.

Commencement Bay

Hazardous Waste Site | Tacoma, WA | 1920s to Present

In the early 1900s, industrialization in Commencement Bay led to the filling of a vast area of tideflats, as well of channelization of the meandering streams and rivers that flowed into the bay. Beginning in the 1920s, the resulting eight channelized waterways received releases of hazardous substances from various industries, including shipbuilding, oil refining, and chemical manufacturing plants. 

Large woody debris in restored tributary to Whatcom Creek provides habitat for salmon.

Whatcom Creek

On June 10, 1999, a rupture in the Olympic Pipeline discharged approximately 236,000 gallons of gasoline into a tributary of Whatcom Creek. Fumes from the gasoline ignited as it moved down Whatcom Creek, through a city park and residential neighborhoods.

Aerial view of Eagle Harbor.

Eagle Harbor

Hazardous Waste Site | Bainbridge Island, WA | Early 1900s to Present

Hazardous substances were released from the Wyckoff Company wood treatment facility and a shipyard beginning early in the 20th century. Released contaminants included PAHs, mercury, and heavy metals.

A view of the free-flowing section of Columbia River.

Hanford Nuclear Site

Hazardous Waste Site | Tri-Cities, WA | 1940s to Present

The Hanford Nuclear Site is located in eastern Washington State, and encompasses more than 500 square miles of land. For nearly 30 years, The U.S. Department of Defense and the Department of Energy produced tons of plutonium for use in the atomic weapon program.