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Habitat restoration

Habitat restoration

King County, Washington

Small Habitat Restoration Program 
Inexpensive but valuable projects that enhance aquatic ecosystems across King County.  We take project suggestions.

Fish Passage Restoration Program
This program collaborates with federal, state, tribal, and city officials to find barriers to fish passage, prioritize and plan restoration efforts and invest in projects that achieve the greatest benefits for salmon recovery.


In this section:

Planning phase

Lower Frew Levee Setback Project (Tolt River)

McSorley Creek Shoreline and Estuary Restoration Project

Molasses Creek Fish Barrier and Habitat Improvement Study
Study to determine what to do with a quarter-mile-long stretch of a tributary to the Cedar River that flows through culvert pipe, connecting areas of good habitat but blocking fish passage.

Rutledge Johnson Partial Levee Removal and Floodplain Restoration

Construction phase

Habitat restoration projects are scheduled for construction during summer months to avoid ecological harm and reduce risk of damage and disruption due to flooding. The following projects will be under construction in 2022:

Chinook Wind Mitigation Reserves Project (Duwamish River)
The Chinook Wind Mitigation Project is located on 5.912 acres at river mile 6.7 on the north bank of the Duwamish River in the City of Tukwila. Construction began in 2021 and the completed project will create more than 4 acres of new estuarine wetland, aquatic, and riparian habitat area. The design includes off-channel aquatic and intertidal mud flat habitat, as well as low and high marsh, and riparian habitat. Chinook Wind is downstream from the City of Tukwila’s Duwamish Gardens Shoreline Restoration project and together the sites provide critical, rare, off-channel and shallow-water edge habitat for Chinook and other salmon.

The Chinook Wind Mitigation Project will provide immensely important habitat in the Green Duwamish system: transition zone rearing and refuge habitat for endangered Chinook salmon, which in turn are a primary food source for endangered orca whales.

Fall City Floodplain Restoration Project (Snoqualmie River)
Project to set back a revetment and levee along the Snoqualmie River to reduce flood hazard and improve habitat for species listed under the Endangered Species Act.

Little Bit Restoration Project (Bear Creek)
Located in Reach 6 in the Lower Bear Creek stream basin. The approximately 3.5-acre site is bordered by Avondale Road NE to the west and the Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center to the east in unincorporated King County near Redmond, Washington. The Little Bit Project will improve rearing habitat for juvenile Chinook and other salmonids along approximately 750 linear feet of channel by excavating off-channel habitat and adding large wood where little currently exists. Large wood is a natural component of river systems and is being used to improve fish habitat by providing complexity and cover. Invasive plants will be removed and native trees and shrubs will be planted along the banks and throughout the floodplain. Together, these project actions are expected to increase the reach’s capacity to support juvenile salmonid rearing, including ESA-listed Chinook salmon. Implementing this project will close the gap between other completed enhancement projects in the vicinity, to create a contiguous ½-mile reach of restored creek habitat.

Piner Point Armor Removal (Vashon Island)
The project involved removal of approximately 225 feet of creosote treated bulkhead and restoring shoreline vegetation within the Piner Point Natural Area. Restoration of natural beach processes and native plant communities along the Puget Sound shoreline will enhance fish and wildlife habitat. Restoration of nearshore environments have been identified as important in the overall salmon conservation plan for the region.

Riverbend Levee Setback and Floodplain Restoration Project (Cedar River)
Long-term levee setback project to protect public safety and restore salmon habitat.

Completed projects

Big Spring Creek Restoration Project
Restoration of a Green River tributary creek and wetland near Enumclaw to improve habitat for endangered salmon.

Dockton Bulkhead Removal Project
Restoring natural shoreline conditions and forage fish spawning habitat on Quartermaster Harbor, Vashon/Maury Island.

Dockton Shoreline Restoration Project
Project to restore shoreline and a salt marsh at Dockton, WA on Vashon/Maury Island.

Gold Creek fish habitat restoration project 
Replacing an impassable metal culvert with a large box culvert, natural gravel streambed and a series of stepped pools enables chinook and coho salmon to swim into this Sammamish River tributary near Woodinville.

Harris Creek Fish Passage Project
Improved fish passage on a tributary to the Snoqualmie River, to open access to anadromous fish to spawn in the upper reaches of the creek.

Kokanee and Chinook salmon restoration projects in the Sammamish Watershed
List of projects scoped for fast-action and to benefit kokanee and chinook salmon populations in Lake Sammamish tributaries (2011).

Lones Levee Setback and Floodplain Restoration Project
Project to give the river room to spread out, opening up side channels for habitat and reducing the risk of downstream flood damage.

Lower Bear Creek Natural Area Habitat Enhancement Project 
Determination of Non-Significance under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA).

Lower Boise Creek Habitat Restoration Project
Overview of a project to remove contamination and restore a creek to create salmon spawning habitat near Enumclaw.

Maury Island Aquatic Reserve Armoring Removal Project
Acquisition and restoration of 14.4 acres and 1,000 feet of marine shoreline bordering the Maury Island Aquatic Reserve.

Maury Island Natural Area Fill Removal Project
Project to remove a large concrete pier from the beach to improve beach spawning habitat for fish.

McElhoe-Pearson Habitat Restoration Project
Project is planned for summer 2012, restoring the Snoqualmie River channel and reconnecting a high quality wetland to provide off-channel rearing and flood refuge habitat for juvenile salmon.

Middle Boise Creek Van Wieringen Restoration Project
Designed to increase the channel capacity and complexity to create rearing and refuge habitat for Chinook and coho salmon and steelhead.

Middle Boise Creek Restoration Project
Overview of a project to widen a creek, plant native riparian trees, install wood and restore an associated wetland to improve habitat near Enumclaw.

Porter Levee Setback and Floodplain Restoration Project
Habitat restoration project on the Green River designed to benefit Chinook salmon and steelhead, which are both listed as “Threatened” under the federal Endangered Species Act.

The Restore and Protect Project
Project to identify habitat stressors and recommend restoration and protection actions to improve freshwater quality and aquatic habitat in Puget Sound streams across King County.

Sammamish River Willowmoor Reach restoration project 
Project to restore habitat on the in Marymoor Park, reconfiguring 1,400 feet of the upper Sammamish River to improve and expand the habitat available for fish and wildlife -- while maintaining current flood protection on the river and along the Lake Sammamish shoreline. Includes a timeline and contact information.

Tolt River floodplain restoration project 
Overview of a levee setback project that will improve salmon habitat and increase flood storage at Tolt MacDonald Park on the lower Tolt River near Carnation, Washington.

Upper Carlson Floodplain Restoration Project
Levee removal project on the Snoqualmie River near Fall City, to allow greater flood storage and improved aquatic habitat to benefit threatened salmon and trout species.

Wetland 79 fish and wildlife enhancement project
A capital improvement project to improve fish and wildlife habitat in a wetland near Maple Valley, Washington.

On hold

Cove Creek Habitat Restoration Project
Restoration of a creek on Vashon/Maury Island.

News and announcements

May 1, 2023
External article, Seattle Times
EPA pitches $290 million cleanup for Duwamish Superfund site 

Jan. 25, 2023
Executive Constantine announces $52 million for 36 projects that will protect greenspace, restore habitat, conserve tree canopy, increase access to homegrown food 

Nov. 1, 2022
People experiencing homelessness are helping King County restore Green River habitat, learn job skills 

Aug. 16, 2022
Executive Constantine announces a combined $8.2 million for community-led projects that will offer recreational opportunities, provide access to open space, and restore river corridors 

Jun. 21, 2022
Largest Snoqualmie River habitat restoration project begins near Fall City to benefit salmon, improve area flood protection

Jun. 16, 2022
External article, Snoqualmie Valley Record
Massive restoration begins on Snoqualmie River for Chinook habitat