Today, Washington Wild staff and volunteers helped restore forested areas of Camp Long in West Seattle in partnership with EarthCorps, and DNDA/Nature Consortium for Duwamish Alive! Saving our Salmon, Saves our Orca. It was a busy day, with over 100 volunteers working to remove invasive plant species like Himalayan blackberry and restore native vegetation throughout the park. Despite the rain, spirits were high as we were entertained with live music and great company.
The Duwamish Alive! Coalition is made up of community members, environmental organizations, businesses, and government entities that are working together to restore the Duwamish River and its tributaries. Washington Wild is a new Coalition member and partner in advocating for environmental justice in the Duwamish watershed.
The Duwamish River has been subject to extreme environmental degradation since white settlement and the industrialization of Seattle. In 1913, work began to dredge and straighten the Duwamish River. As a result, the lower 9 miles of the shallow, meandering Duwamish River became a straight shipping canal 5 miles long and 50 feet deep. Indigenous people were forced off their land, and manufacturing and shipping companies moved in, transforming the Duwamish basin into Seattle’s industrial and commercial hub.
In the 1970s, various tribal, environmental, and community groups turned their attention to the severely polluted Duwamish River. In 2001, the US Environmental Protection Agency declared the lover 5 miles of the Duwamish River a Superfund site. Community outreach and education as well as cleanup and restoration efforts are all ongoing.
Today, Duwamish Alive! Coalition partners are working hard to restore the health of the river and surrounding environment for the benefit of all that live, work, and play along its banks. The Duwamish Alive! Coalition hosts two large volunteer events each year where hundreds of volunteers come together to revitalize the river through cleanups, tree planting, and more. If you are interested in learning more about this important work, visit the Duwamish Alive Coalition website HERE.