By continuing historic pollution cleanup at the Maury Island Natural Area, King County Parks is protecting public health while improving public access and habitat quality at the largest natural shoreline and public beach access site in central Puget Sound.
StoryOngoing work to clean up historic pollution from a Tacoma smelter plume that settled across King County’s Maury Island Natural Area helps protect public health and improves environmental conditions.
Crews begin construction of a parking area off Southwest 260th Street in early May that will also serve to cap contaminated soil at the site of a former skeet-shooting range on the property. The new parking area will have space for 20 passenger vehicles and four equestrian trailers.
Crews will also remove 3 acres of invasive vegetation on the south side of Southwest 260th Street, then prepare the area for planting the site with native plants later this year.
While much of the parking lot construction will be completed by mid-summer, public access to the parking area won’t be available until habitat restoration work is finished sometime in October – including planting and seeding native vegetation, which must wait until fall’s cooler and wetter weather.
The natural area will remain open to public access while construction is underway, however traffic flaggers may be present on individual trail or road sections throughout the project. Full road closures are not planned at this time. Construction work hours are scheduled as Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The improvements are part of King County’s ongoing work to clean up the legacy pollution from a Tacoma smelter that deposited arsenic and other toxic compounds across a large swath of the central Puget Sound region for nearly a century.
Located on the southeast shore of Maury Island on lands formerly operated as a sand and gravel mine, the Maury Island Natural Area is now a 275-acre park. Added to the adjacent Dockton Park, Forest and Natural Area, there are more than 470 acres of public land featuring 12 miles of hiking trails.
Maury Island Natural Area contains madrone forests and nearshore habitat that supports endangered species such as Chinook salmon, orca, and bull trout.
The site’s nearly one mile of shoreline is the longest undeveloped stretch of Puget Sound shoreline in King County – and when combined with the nearby 320-acre Maury Island Marine Park, the two parks represent the largest public holding of protected marine shoreline in all of Puget Sound.
• Maury Island Natural Area
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Doug Williams, King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, 206-477-4543
About King County Parks
King County Parks - Your Big Backyard - offers 205 parks and 32,000 acres of open space, including popular destinations such as Marymoor Park and Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, plus 175 miles of regional trails, 250 miles of backcountry trails, and a world-class aquatic center. We envision parks, trails, and natural lands for all, sustained with the cooperative efforts of our community.