Smith Island Restoration Project

In this section, you’ll find information about the work we’re planning and the steps we’re taking to get there. Feel free to read updates, look at pictures or delve deeper into the technical data and science behind the work.

We believe restoring salmon habitat is one part of a healthy ecosystem that’s good for fish and good for us. Protecting farmland and farming is equally important.

Aerial
Strategy
The Smith Island Restoration Project is one part of Snohomish County’s Sustainable Lands Strategy, which is balancing the need to restore vital salmon habitat while also protecting the viability of local agriculture.

Both farming and salmon production play a key role in the history, culture and economy of Snohomish County and both can be protected through sustainable land projects.

According to Washington’s Government Land Office Survey of 1860, Smith Island was once very productive estuary for juvenile salmon. However, the land was later converted for farm use.

Purpose
The Smith Island Restoration Project proposes to balance both needs by restoring historic tidal marshlands with construction of a new dike that will protect the best-producing farmland while providing critical habitat for threatened Chinook salmon, as well as other salmon species, in the Snohomish River basin.

The restoration will provide food and shelter to thousands of juvenile salmon on their way downstream and out to the ocean. These numbers contribute significantly toward achieving salmon recovery benchmarks identified in the Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Plan, the Puget Sound Action Agenda, and the Snohomish River Basin Salmon Conservation Plan.

Benefits
Increasing salmon numbers is integral to our economy. This project will help protect commercial fishing jobs, tribal fishing rights and should provide increased opportunities for sports fishers. It also means cheaper prices for a healthy food source at local stores.

Protecting farmland throughout Snohomish County contributes to our local economy and livelihoods. Local production means better prices, more variety and greater food security in a changing world. It also means new opportunities to export homegrown products.

The Site
The Smith Island site consists of approximately 400 acres of publicly owned land located on the northeast portion of Smith Island, within the Snohomish River estuary near Everett. The site is bounded by Union Slough to the east and north, Interstate 5 to the west, and Everett’s wastewater treatment plant to the south.