by Staff Writers
Seattle WA (SPX) Nov 08, 2012
Northwest salmon are closer to getting a much needed resting area for their annual migration down the industrial Duwamish Waterway now that Boeing has begun the initial rough grading that will start the construction for a new wildlife habitat.
Approximately 2.3 acres (0.9 hectares) of uplands at the north end of Plant 2 in Seattle now is being transformed into a fish and wildlife habitat. The habitat will offer a resting place for juvenile salmon, where they adapt to living in salt water before continuing their migration to the Pacific Ocean.
Next year, Boeing plans to transform more than 3,000 additional feet, or more than half a mile, of former World War II-era industrial waterfront into a natural shoreline. The two projects combined will provide a total of 5 acres (1.95 hectares) of fish and wildlife habitat as well as a restored shoreline.
"This is an important step in our efforts to restore and protect the waterway," said Kim Smith, Boeing vice president of Environment, Health and Safety. "When it's completed, it will be the largest habitat restoration on the Duwamish to date."
The current work at the north end of Boeing's Plant 2 facility will include excavating 20,000 cubic yards (more than 15,000 cubic meters) of soil. Some trees will need to be removed and protective fencing will be put in place. Next year, the remaining soil and in-water work will begin creating the final grades, followed by planting vegetation.
Both portions of the habitat-restoration project are expected to be completed prior to the 2014 fish migration in the Duwamish Waterway.
This work is being coordinated with the Natural Resource Trustees - the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association, the U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, Washington State Department of Ecology, the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, and the Suquamish Tribe.
Boeing also is part of the Lower Duwamish Waterway Group along with the City of Seattle, Port of Seattle and King County. Under the direction of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Washington Department of Ecology, the Lower Duwamish Waterway Group is working to develop a plan to clean up the five-mile (eight-kilometer) industrial waterway.
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