Porter Levee Natural Area
The 50-acre Porter Levee Natural Area is located in south King County, east of Auburn. The site borders the Green River on both the right and left banks between River Mile 34 and 35, just upstream of the Highway 18 intersection with the Green River. The surrounding properties support agricultural uses, residences, a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife boat launch, and King County property managed by the Property Services Division.
The site contains wetlands, remnant side channels, and a small, unclassified stream. A forested riparian zone is established on both sides of the river at the site. The vegetation on the site is primarily pasture grasses, reed canarygrass and Himalayan blackberry in the upland areas with some red alder, willows and cattails in the riparian and wetland areas.The Middle Green River supports coho, chinook, and chum salmon, steelhead, rainbow, and cutthroat trout. Bull trout have also been observed. Chinook and bull trout are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Other verified wildlife includes deer, mergansers, great blue herons, beaver and bald eagles.
The King County Water and Land Resources Division acquired Porter Levee Natural Area in 1998 and 1999 to protect and restore fish and wildlife habitat and preserve open space. Funds were obtained from the Elliot Bay/Duwamish Panel and reclassified 1989 open space bond fund. The US Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) breached the levee located on the left bank of the Green River at the site in two locations in 1999 to create a hydraulic connection between the Green River and a remnant side-channel. The project was designed to improve habitat for juvenile salmon. An additional 1000 trees were planted on the site in 2000 to enhance habitat and out-compete invasive vegetation.
The site is managed for the protection of its ecological value. Appropriate public access and interpretive opportunities are accommodated where they do not harm the ecological value of the site. Porter Levee is used for fishing; however, use appears to be relatively low. Dumping at the Green River Road access is a frequent problem.
The Porter Levee Natural Area Site Management Guidelines are available in Adobe Acrobat format. For help using Acrobat files, please visit our Acrobat help page.