Port of Seattle Wetland Mitigation and Habitat Conservation Umbrella Bank

Development and operations within the Green/Duwamish Watershed and Elliott Bay often directly or indirectly impact aquatic environments or sensitive areas. Pursuant to federal, state, and local regulations, these impacts are avoided and minimized to the extent possible, but compensatory mitigation is often required to replace wetland and/or fish and wildlife habitat functions and values when unavoidable impacts occur.

The Port of Seattle (Port) is proposing to develop a joint wetland mitigation and habitat conservation umbrella bank (bank) to provide compensatory mitigation for three separate sites totaling approximately 60 acres. The bank is a unique opportunity to restore crucial habitat for federally threatened Chinook salmon, providing important natural resource values and habitat functions within the largest economic engine of the Puget Sound region. The bank will also provide an opportunity to assist other marine industrial interests in fulfilling their requirements associated with shoreline development, which aligns with the Port’s Century Agenda mission to advance commerce and promote industrial growth in an environmentally responsible way.

Anchor QEA prepared the bank prospectus, which describes the Port’s plan to create or enhance aquatic habitat to offset impacts from development projects with new overwater cover or elevation changes of subtidal, intertidal, or marsh habitat (including converting these areas to upland). We are currently working with the Interagency Regulatory Team and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries to develop the mitigation banking instrument.

Our team has also conducted site investigations, developed designs for habitat restoration and contaminated soil and sediment cleanup, provided environmental permitting, and supported construction for several sites to be included in the bank. This included the former Terminal 117 Early Action cleanup site, which transformed a former industrial site into a restored habitat with public access as part of the Duwamish River People’s Park.

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