GREEN DUWAMISH WATERSHED
Tribes and Treaty Rights
“We are losing the battle for salmon recovery in western Washington because the salmon habitat is being damaged and destroyed faster than it can be restored.” This resource details how despite cuts in harvest, careful use of hatcheries, and financial investment in restoration, salmon populations continue to decline. It also links salmon disappearance to the loss of tribal cultures and treaty rights.
This site is the communications arm of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, supporting tribes in exercising their treaty rights since 1974. The 20 treaty Indian tribes in Western Washington are leaders to protect and restore regional natural resources. At the heart of those efforts are rights reserved by the tribes in treaties with the U.S. government. Tribes reserved rights to harvest fish, shellfish, wildlife, and other natural resources in exchange for most of the land that makes up the region today.
This site discusses how to protect and recover salmon populations. It explains that salmon numbers continue to decline because their habitat is being lost faster than it can be restored and links urban development to our world's environmental problems.
This source explains how the construction of the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks reworked the land and water of Seattle for development, displacing the indigenous cultures. It includes a map that reveals changes in the water from before and after the construction of the locks.
This article describes the Duwamish tribe’s struggle to obtain federal recognition as a tribe. It provides the history of the Duwamish tribe’s interactions with the federal government and emphasizes its unwillingness to uphold the treaty created in 1855. It also overviews the legislation that prevents the tribe from securing recognition and explains the benefits of federal status as a tribe.
This site features "Since Time Immemorial," a resource developed by OSPI, private and public agencies, and several tribes. All 29 Federally Recognized Tribes in Washington State have endorsed it. The curriculum helps students understand the historical and current role of Washington State Tribes, tribal government, and treaty rights in developing community and watershed-scale improvements to water quality.
Duwamish Superfund Site
This plan represents the EPA's final decision for cleaning up the Lower Duwamish Waterway after considering the thousands of public comments it received on its initial proposal. While environmental regulation and cleanup of older pollutants continue to occur, legacy contamination and ongoing sources continue to impact people and the environment. The plan adds to the work already underway at the most contaminated parts of the Lower Duwamish Waterway.
This overview of the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund Cleanup Plan includes key concepts, timelines, and budget figures written for the news media and general public. Also, review the EPA's Fact Sheet on the Final Cleanup Plan.
This page highlights the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, a community-based group involved in all aspects of the cleanup of the Duwamish River. It strives to ensure its work meets community standards by restoring environmental health and protecting those who use the river. The Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition also reflects the priorities, values, and will of the people who live and work in the region.
This analysis by the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition finds that South Seattle residents are more likely to experience sickness and die younger from environmental health threats than those living in other cities. Learn more about the findings by exploring the full report.
This report from 2013 details the results of a health impact assessment conducted for a proposed cleanup plan for the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund Site. It analyzes the proposal's effects on residents, Tribes, subsistence fishing populations, and general health. Based on its findings, the report makes recommendations on how to proceed with the project.
This engineering talk exposes the geography of the Duwamish River, how industrial development impacted it, and how engineering solutions are vital in isolating contaminated sediment from the river as a whole.
This resource teaches us about the modern-day environmental clean-up efforts at Boeing Plant 2, a World War II industrial site built directly on the Duwamish River. It encourages us to think about how we can manage obsolete and toxic factories to revitalize our natural world.
This video details how Boing formed the largest habitat restoration project in the Lower Duwamish Waterway, transforming nearly one mile of the formerly industrial waterfront.
This story from KUOW outlines the cultural and environmental history of the B-17, called the plane that won World War II. It gives an account of how a war plane ended up polluting our local waterways.
Salmon Habitat Restoration
This infographic is full of rich, high-resolution detail. Zoom in to learn about the history, challenges, and opportunities of the Green Duwamish Watershed. Most of the diagrams and infographics combined in this beautiful poster also serve as the illustrations for the Green Duwamish Watershed Salmon Habitat Plan.
This resource highlights how citizens, scientists, businesses, conservation groups, and governments are working together to respond to the overall decline of salmon and the lands and waters on which they depend. Seventeen local governments collaborated in developing a science-based Salmon Habitat Plan. Read the Executive Summary or individual chapters from the plan. This chapter lays out the Science Foundations for the Salmon Recovery Plan. Explore this collection of project maps and subbasins. Carrying out the plan recommendations will protect and restore a healthy watershed ecosystem for both people and fish.
This site explains how salmon recovery in the Green/Duwamish watershed depends on improving the quality and quantity of estuarine habitat. Doing so will allow migrating juvenile Chinook salmon habitat in the “transition zone” to feed, take shelter, and osmoregulate as they transition from being freshwater fish to saltwater fish.
This page explains Re-Green the Green's significance and strategy to grow trees along rivers and streams in the Green/Duwamish and Central Puget Sound Watershed. It has an ambitious goal of planting 2,384 acres of trees by 2025.
Learn more about Re-Green the Green through the following visual resources:
Interactive “Revegetation Tracker” Map (to track planting locations and progress)
Maps of Priority Areas for Tree Planting (Green River and Soos and Newaukum Creeks)
This legal document describes how Tacoma Water plans to minimize and mitigate any “take” that may result from its role in providing water using a diversion dam. An incidental take permit is required to protect threatened or endangered species, and a Habitat Conservation Plan must accompany the permit application. Tacoma Water prepared the plan as part of its application for a 50-year incidental take permit for its water supply operations on the Green River.
This report tells us about the health of salmon populations, particularly Puget Sound Chinook populations, and whether efforts to improve salmon habitat and management of harvest and hatcheries are having the desired effect of improved salmon populations. Although the indicator focuses on Chinook salmon populations specifically, it is intended to serve as an indicator of the health of all salmon and steelhead species in Puget Sound.
This resource describes how polluted runoff like residue from drugs and pesticides and sewage from Puget Sound harm Chinook salmon. The contaminants lead to degraded habitats, limits on their food supply, and exposure to toxins for the salmon.
This article explains that Coho salmon are killed by pollution soon after hitting their natal streams. This devastating phenomenon occurs in an estimated 40 percent of their range in Puget Sound.
This article describes scientists' efforts to hunt down a deadly chemical thought to be prevalent in the urban streams of Puget Sound. Haunted by the sight of disoriented coho salmon dying before they can spawn, scientists are determined to find an answer.
This talk illustrates why salmon are dying before they can complete the spawning phase of their lifecycle. Get up close and personal with some dead salmon as Kathryn Davis of Puget Soundkeeper walks us through how human development and infrastructure drive salmon pre-spawn mortality.
This video details the primary factor driving the reduction in Chinook salmon in the Green River. Kollin Higgins of King County DNRP provides examples of how rearing habitats have changed throughout the sub-watersheds of the Green River. He reviews data from groundbreaking analytical approaches showing that the juvenile Chinook reliant on the Duwamish for their first few months of life are not surviving to adulthood.
This presentation describes the fall and rise of Newaukum Creek, one of the two largest tributaries in the Green/Duwamish River Watershed. Land use activities like agriculture, timber harvesting, and residential development degraded it. But, in the last 15 years, King County and other agencies have worked to restore it and its major tributary, Big Spring Creek. These restoration projects have improved fish habitat and water quality.
This talk describes aspects of marine nearshore areas of Puget Sound with a focus on those associated with the Green River Watershed. It explains that these areas of our ecosystems were overlooked in the past and how residential development helped nurture this sensitive environment.
This video highlights the devastating impacts of the 8.8 million tons of plastic and microplastic that enter the world's oceans every year. Microplastics are pieces of plastic five millimeters in size or smaller and pose unexpected dangers to organisms in our local watersheds. Hillary Sanders of Puget Soundkeeper walks us through the causes and implications of microplastics in the Duwamish River.
This site breaks down what "WRIA" stands for and how WRIAs help support water use for many different human and environmental needs. With this resource, you can learn more about the key factors affecting water resources in your local WRIA. It also includes a helpful mapping tool and resources on the history of Water Law in our state.
This article explains why it is critical to identify and protect healthy watersheds. It highlights the many ways healthy watersheds substantially affect communities' quality of life. In addition, it presents surprisingly far-reaching ecosystem services, economic benefits, and physical and mental health benefits.
This resource provides maps and water quality monitoring results of watersheds based on zip code. It explains that the monitoring results are assessed against EPA-approved water quality standards and thresholds. It also describes how the condition of a water body is dynamic and can change at any time.
This interactive mapping site developed by Sustainability Ambassadors and Mapseed is perfect for exploring map stories or creating your own! Use different map layers to learn about the rich story behind your watershed address. Be curious and expand your geographic literacy! This map is best for local schools, cities, and neighborhoods, as it uses King County data.
This is a study done to reconstruct the historic habitat of the Green Duwamish area. This includes a lot of great maps constructed from old aerial images, historic field notes, and early maps of the area. Historical reconstruction is important to understand the environment around the river to restore degraded habitat. For the list of figures and tables see page 6!
Ecosystem Economic Value
This report assesses the economic value of a natural watershed system. It explains the significance of the Water WRIA 9 Habitat Plan, a long-term, comprehensive plan to protect and restore Chinook salmon in the Green/Duwamish and Central Puget Sound Watershed. Ensuring salmon health has vital socio-economic implications for individuals, communities, businesses, and governments within WRIA 9.
This resource explains the value and investment opportunities of the goods and services produced by nature. Fourteen goods and services provided by nature within the Puget Sound Basin, like drinking water, food, and recreation, are worth between $9.7 billion and $83 billion every year. This “natural capital” is vital to our communities and economy.
This video invites us to broaden our thinking by considering the economic value of one of King County’s most prominent natural resources: the Green-Duwamish Watershed. Directly impacting 93 miles from snowcaps to white caps, the Green-Duwamish Watershed plays an essential role in supporting everything from industry and commerce to water supply systems and wildlife habitats.
Climate Change Impacts
This report explores the Our Green/Duwamish initiative to develop strategies to strengthen communities and improve air, land, and water conditions in Green/Duwamish Watershed. This initiative intends to increase coordination of current work in the watershed at the local, state, and federal levels to manage habitat restoration, salmon recovery, flood control, public health, social equity, environmental cleanups, economic development, water quality, and more.
This site explains the devastating impact climate change has had on salmon populations. It describes how threats to salmon health also harm millions of people living on Tulalip’s historic lands adjacent to the Salish Sea, which is detrimental to the lifeways of the Tulalip people.
This collection features a set of lessons analyzing the impacts of warming temperatures reducing the snow in the Cascades. We have depended on a snowpack depth each year to serve as a second natural water reservoir. Our snowpack is shrinking due to human-caused climate change. What are the downstream impacts in our watershed for salmon and people?
This video summarizes the Green River's tremendous growth over the past 100 years. To maintain its water supply and the watershed itself, we must maintain three key aspects of watershed management: quality/quantity, security, and habitat.
This presentation discusses Tacoma Water's Habitat Conservation Plan to assure a continued water supply for its citizens and partner cities while maintaining water quality and protecting and restoring wildlife habitat within its municipal watershed in the Upper Green River watershed. It also mentions some of the commitments Tacoma has been implementing since 2001.
This site explains what a habitat conservation plan is and what its advantages are. It details how it provides many benefits for fish, wildlife, and water users in Puget Sound, including fish passage into and out of the upper Green River, enhanced water flow, and a steady supply of water for customers of Tacoma Water.
This report outlines Tacoma Waters' habitat conservation and watershed protection plan for the Green River Water. It includes provisions for the existing condition of the Green River Basin, regulatory requirements and processes, habitat conservation measures, and potential alternatives.
Howard A. Hanson Dam
This talk describes the significance of the Howard A. Hanson Dam. Since its construction, the nearly annual flooding that plagued the Green River Valley has not recurred. Smith presents the engineering design of the earth embankment portion of the dam in sequential detail and discusses the construction order of the dam’s components.
This article explains Tacoma Headworks' plan to add an upstream fish passage facility to their existing facility. Creating an upstream fish passage facility is evidence of its commitment to restoring anadromous fish production above the United States Army Corps of Engineers' HHD.
This site features an informative, interview-based article detailing a biological opinion (BiOp) that required the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to complete a downstream fish passage facility on the Green River. Completing the project will provide habitat for Endangered Species Act-listed Chinook salmon and steelhead.
This site displays a technical fact sheet from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers outlining their plans to repair and update the Howard A. Hanson Dam.
This page includes an easy-to-read summary of the entire history of the Howard A. Hanson Dam and its relationship with the Green River Valley.
This resource includes a comprehensive, easy-to-read history of the Howard A. Hanson Dam and the Green River Valley.
This site features live graphs from NOAA displaying inflow, water level, discharge, and storage at the Howard A. Hanson Dam.
This article describes the Howard A. Hanson Dam's essential role in protecting and supporting jobs in the Green River Valley. It also explains the dangers the region faces if the dam falters in the future.
This resource provides access to the PDF form of the 2013 King County Flood Management Hazard Management Plan, a comprehensive overview of the actions taken to reduce the drastic effects in the King County area. The plan is updated every five years per the Community Rating System.
This article details the details of the last catastrophic flood of the Green River. It was created in response to the heightened threat of flooding in 2009 in the Green River Valley. This resource provides an outline of the catalysts that led to the flood.
This video exposes graduate student Elizabeth Davis’ research on the Seattle Fault, where a mighty earthquake likely occurred 1,000 years ago, lifting the south side of the fault and triggering local landslides and a tsunami. Have other earthquakes, on this fault or others, shaken Seattle and the Duwamish Waterway since then? This talk describes how geology and observations of the natural world allow us to approach these questions.
Short expert talks produced by Sustainability Ambassadors and filmed before a live student audience at Auburn High School
- Lynne Barre, NOAA Fisheries
- Louisa Burkley Harding, WSU Puyallup Extension Center
- Kathryn Davis, Puget Soundkeeper
- Hillary Sanders, Puget Soundkeeper
- Kollin Higgins, King County DNRP
- Josh Kahan, King County DNRP
- Brian Anderson, Boeing
- Cesar Lopez, Sustainability Ambassadors
- Cesar Lopez, Sustainability Ambassadors
- Richard Smith, US Army Corps of Engineers
- Elizabeth Davis, UW Earth and Space Sciences
- Tracy Stanton, GD Urban Water Partnership
- Tyler Patterson, Tacoma Public Utilities
- Natalie Jones, Tacoma Public Utilities
“I See” Short, Student Inquiries based on a single image (Photos by Tom Reese)
- Thandi Chirwa, Mill Creek Middle School, Kent
- Aicha Toure, Mill Creek Middle School, Kent
- Fatima Hernandez Perez, Mill Creek Middle School, Kent
- Kya Lee, Mill Creek Middle School, Kent
- Cecelia Obunike, Mill Creek Middle School, Kent
- Mia Hernandez, Mill Creek Middle School, Kent
- Kya Lee, Mill Creek Middle School, Kent