Maury Island Natural Area
Site Restoration WorkThe restoration work (3 acres of planting - worksite map) is now complete! For the next few years, the plantings will be watered (with a gravity fed drip irrigation system) and weeded until they are established enough to remove the temporary weed fabric and fencing.
This restoration work was part of the cleanup of contaminated soils resulting from the Tacoma Smelter Plume as required under the Agreed Order between King County Parks and the Washington Department of Ecology. The next steps for compliance with the Agreed Order will be development and finalization of the Cleanup Action Plan for the contaminated soil throughout the remainder of the park. A public process to obtain feedback on the proposed Cleanup Action Plan will get underway in early 2018. Construction of the next phase of cleanup is currently estimated to occur in 2019.
Other upcoming activities include:
- Shoreline restoration planting, similar to what has occurred at Maury Island Marine Park
- Continued maintenance and repair of existing trails, including the access road/trail near the recently completed restoration site and trails in the steeper bluff areas
- Collection of historic and archeological documentation for resources on the site, specifically for the existing mining structure and for areas in and around the old farm settlement
- Continued planning and development of the site management and forest stewardship plans, with more updates on those plans coming later in 2017
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 pure 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.
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.
For more information about the acquisition, read the press release from 2010.
Access: 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. There is no formal access or parking on site, but non-motorized access is allowed via the gated maintenance road.
Agreed Order Clean-up Resources
Interim Action Clean-Up SEPA documents (July 2016)
MINA Clean-Up FAQs (Updated July 2016)
2016 Interim Action Work Plan (Updated June 2016)
Helpful Links and Resources
For more information, contact Lindsey Miller, Capital Project Manager.