The Project in Brief
The Smith Island Restoration Project site consists of approximately 400 acres of publicly and privately owned land located on the northeast portion of Smith Island, within the Snohomish River estuary and near the City of Everett. The site is bounded by Union Slough to the east and north, Interstate 5 to the west, and Everett’s wastewater treatment plant to the south.
Purpose and Strategy
The purpose of the Smith Island Restoration Project is to restore estuarine tidal marshlands that provide critical habitat for ESA-listed Chinook, as well as other salmon species in the Snohomish River basin.
The County proposes to restore historic tidal marsh conditions by constructing a new setback dike further west on the site and breaching the existing dike along Union Slough.
The restoration project will contribute significantly toward achieving salmon recovery benchmarks identified in the Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Plan, the Puget Sound Action Agenda, the Snohomish River Basin Salmon Conservation Plan, and actions noted on the Snohomish River Basin Three Year Work Plan.
The proposed new setback dike will be designed and built to meet federal standards. It will provide greater flood protection to farmlands and other commercial and public facilities located landward of the dike.
Additionally, the restoration of several hundred acres of natural tidal marshlands may provide compensatory mitigation for wetland impacts associated with development activities taking place in the Snohomish River estuary.
For additional background information, see Project Resources.
Environmental Review in Progress
The Smith Island Restoration Project proposal is currently undergoing extensive environmental review required by the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA).
An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) has been prepared to thoroughly disclose and analyze all significant adverse impacts that could result from the project and to identify reasonable mitigation measures to offset those impacts. State law requires that an EIS also analyze a No-Action Alternative - the consequences of not doing the project at all.
The County issued the Draft EIS (DEIS) on June 6, 2011. The 30-day public comment period was from June 6 to July 6, 2011. (view DEIS and details)