Maury Island Natural Area
Updates - September 2019
King County Parks began the cleanup of contaminated soil in the Maury Island Natural Area the week of September 16. This cleanup is mandated by an Agreed Order with the Washington Department of Ecology. This first phase of the project is expected to last into December 2019.
IO Environmental and Infrastructure (IOEI), a contractor with US Forest Service trail building experience, is capping contaminated backcountry trails with three inches of gravel topped with three inches of soil.
While work is underway, the park will remain open but some trail segments will be temporarily closed. The construction plans, showing which trails are being capped, and how, are available here.
NOTE: Only trails in the Maury Island Natural Area will be capped. The mountain bike trails in nearby Dockton Forest will not be affected by this work.
The next phase of cleanup will involve capping of the former skeet range property to create a parking area and the removal of five more acres of invasive vegetation in 2020.
Site Management Plan
The Friends of Maury Island Park have offered to help serve a planning advisory role to assist King County’s efforts to finalize the Site Management Plan for the Maury Island Natural Area. That work has just begun and will continue throughout the fall. This management plan covers all future use of the natural area, not just the plans for cleanup. A draft was prepared in 2013 but could not be finalized until the details of the cleanup were decided.
About the Park:
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. The park contains madrone forests and 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. 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.Park Activities:Location: The park can be reached from Seattle by the Fauntleroy-Vashon ferry and from Tacoma by the Point Defiance-Tahlequah ferry. Once on Maury Island, head south on Dockton Road SW, east on SW 260th St.
Nearby Bus Stops:
Parking: There is no formal access or parking on site, but non-motorized access is allowed via the gated maintenance road.
Citizen activists and environmental groups fought plans for mine expansion and advocated for public acquisition of the site, which was purchased in December 2010. Acquisition funding came from the King County Conservation Futures Tax, Washington State Department of Ecology ASARCO Settlement fund and an amendment to CalPortland’s existing royalty agreement for another mining site. In addition, community groups including Forterra, People For Puget Sound, Preserve Our Islands, Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust, and Washington Environmental Council began a fundraising campaign to help ensure the site would be protected and cared for in perpetuity.
Due to previous mining activity and the site's location within the historic Tacoma Smelter plume, plans for land reclamation and soil remediation have been an integral part of site management planning. King County Parks has been working with a planning advisory group, which helped identify appropriate site uses and amenities, such as trail improvements, water access, restroom facilities, picnic areas and parking. We will finalize those recommendations as part of the planning process and in coordination with the Washington Department of Ecology.
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Agreed Order Cleanup Resources