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Environmental Stewardship Project

In 2008, the City of Tacoma entered into an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to provide stewardship for restored natural resource habitats in the Puyallup River Watershed. The Stewardship Agreement and the associated Environmental Stewardship Project were undertaken in connection with the settlement of an enforcement action taken by the EPA for violations of CERCLA (commonly known as Superfund).

 

The Commencement Bay Natural Resource Trustees have established restoration projects throughout the Puyallup River Watershed. However, after several years of maintenance and monitoring by the potentially responsible parties there are no longer regulatory or legal requirements to provide additional maintenance, monitoring, or adaptive management at these restored sites. The need for those activities still remains and in an urban environment, active site stewardship is necessary to continue to protect these investments and ensure continued success. The current sites at which the City is acting as interim site steward are listed below.

 

Project Sites

Yowkwala
Skookum Wulge
Squally Beach
Mowitch
Jordan/Lower Hylebos Marsh
Middle Waterway - City
Middle Waterway - Simpson
Olympic View - City and DNR
Tahoma Salt Marsh
Swan Creek

Work under the Stewardship Agreement is expected to be completed in 2013 at which time stewardship responsibility will be transferred to EarthCorps on behalf of the Trustees.  The City is currently working with EarthCorps and the Trustees to provide for a smooth transition.

Annual Reports

Year One - September 29, 2009  Introduction
Attachment 1: Tables & Figures
Attachment 2: Photos & Field Forms
Yowkwala
Skookum Wulge
Squally Beach
Mowitch
Jordan/Lower Hylebos Marsh
Middle Waterways-Simpson
Middle Waterway-City
Olympic View
Tahoma Salt Marsh
Swan Creek
Attachment 3: Task List
Attachment 4: Financial Summary

Year Two - October 26, 2010
Introduction
Attachment 1: Tables & Figures
Attachment 2: Photos & Field Forms
Yowkwala
Skookum Wulge
Squally Beach
Mowitch
Jordan/Lower Hylebos Marsh
Middle Waterways-Simpson
Middle Waterways-City
Olympic View
Tahoma Salt Marsh
Swan Creek
Attachment 3: Task List
Attachment 4: Financial Summary

Year Three - October 25, 2011
Introduction
Attachment 1: Tables and Figures
Attachment 2: Photos & Field Forms Yowkwala
Skookum Wulge
Squally Beach
Mowitch
Jordan/Lower Hylebos Marsh
Middle Waterways-Simpson
Middle Waterway-City
Olympic View
Tahoma Salt Marsh
Swan Creek
Attachment 3: Task List
Attachment 4: Financial Summary

Year Four - October 23, 2012 Introduction
Attachment 1: Tables and Figures
Attachment 2: Photos & Field Forms
Yowkwala
Skookum Wulge
Squally Beach
Mowitch
Jordan/Lower Hylebos Marsh
Middle Waterways-Simpson
Middle Waterway-City
Olympic View
Tahoma Salt Marsh
Swan Creek
Hauff
Attachment 3: Task List
Attachment 4: Financial Summary

Year Five - October 24, 2013
Introduction 
Attachment 1: Tables and Figures
Attachment 2: Photos & Field Forms
Yowkwala 
Skookum Wulge 
Squally Beach 
Mowitch 
Jordan/Lower Hylebos Marsh 
Middle Waterways-Simpson 
Middle Waterway-City 
Olympic View 
Tahoma Salt Marsh
Swan Creek
Attachment 3: Financial Summary 

Quarterly Reports

Year Six, First Quarter Report- January 27, 2014

Partner Links

NOAA
Citizens for a Healthy Bay
Earthcorps

Yowkwala - Photo by T. Clancy, NOAAYowkwala

Located on the northeast shore of Commencement Bay near the mouth of the Hylebos Waterway, these 15 acres have been set aside for preservation of the shoreline’s intertidal habitat areas and native vegetation. In consultation with Puyallup tribal linguist, the site was named Yowkwala, which means eagle.

 

Skookum Wulge Photo by G. Siani, NOAA, 2002
Skookum Wulge

Located on the northeast shore of Commencement Bay near the mouth of the Hylebos Waterway, this narrow strip of 1.19 acres has been set aside for preservation the shoreline’s intertidal habitat areas and native vegetation. In consultation with the Puyallup tribal linguist, the site was named Skookum Wulge, meaning powerful salt water or Puget Sound.

Squally Beach

Squally Beach Photo by G. Siani, NOAA, 2002
Located on the northeast shore of Commencement Bay just north of the 11th Street bridge, seeps from the hill above are diffused over the shoreline creating an area of brackish marsh and backwater pools. This 0.66-acre area provides intertidal habitat and native vegetation. In consultation with the Puyallup tribal linguist, the site was named Squally, meaning grasses.

Mowich Photo courtesy of NOAAMowitch

Located at the head of the Hylebos Waterway, this site provides intertidal backwater fingers that enable brackish marsh vegetation to grow and foraging and refuge habitat for salmonids. In consultation with the Puyallup tribal linguist, the site was named Mowitch, meaning deer.

Jordan/Hylebos Marsh Photo by P. Cereghino, NOAA, 2006Jordan/Lower Hylebos Marsh

Located directly adjacent to Hylebos Creek in Fife, just downstream of the 4th Street bridge, this 15.3-acre site provides off-channel intertidal habitat for fish migration, rearing, foraging, and refuge.


Middle Waterway (City) Photo by G. Siani, NOAA, 2001Middle Waterway (City)

Located at the head of the Middle Waterway near 11th Street, this 1.85-acre site provides intertidal habitat and salt marsh vegetation beneficial for juvenile salmonid migration. The riparian areas provide habitat for shorebirds and other wildlife.

Middle Waterway (Simpson) Photo by G. Siani, NOAAMiddle Waterway (Simpson)
Located at the head of the Middle Waterway near 11th Street, this site provides intertidal habitat and salt marsh vegetation beneficial for juvenile salmonid migration. The riparian areas provide habitat for shorebirds and other wildlife.

Olympic View Photo by Desiree Pooley, City of TacomaOlympic View (City and DNR)
Located at the tip of the peninsula between the Thea Foss and Middle Waterways, this 12.4-acre site consists of restored beach, tidelands, intertidal salt marsh, and riparian areas. Onsite, but just offshore, is one of the few remaining eelgrass beds in Commencement Bay.

Tahoma Salt Marsh Photo by Desiree Pooley, City of TacomaTahoma Salt Marsh

Located along the Ruston Way shoreline near Jack Hyde Park, this 1.95-acre bowl-shaped riparian and salt marsh habitat provides intertidal habitat for juvenile salmonids. The riparian areas provide habitat for shore birds and other wildlife.

Swan Creek Photo courtesy the City of TacomaSwan Creek Located just outside the City of Tacoma limits, off of Pioneer Way, these 12 acres include Swan Creek, the Haire wetland and associated riparian areas. The improved surface water connection provides easier passage for fish into the wetland complex where they can find food and refuge.

To volunteer at any of these sites, please contact Citizens for a Healthy Bay.