Nearshore Restoration Project


Artist's Rendering of Howarth Park After RestorationThe Nearshore Beach Restoration Project was developed by Snohomish County and its partners to support the 2005 Snohomish River Basin Salmon Conservation Plan and the federal listing of the Puget Sound Chinook Salmon as a threatened species. The nearshore environment  of the Snohomish River Basin (WRIA 7) has been identified as a high priority for restoration of juvenile salmon and forage fish rearing habitat. This project will advance restoration in the nearshore area of the Snohomish River mouth, along the railroad-impounded shoreline between Mukilteo and Everett.

Click here to download the Nearshore Restoration Project fact sheet.


Railroad tracks along project reachShoreline railroad construction, beginning in the early 1800s, has disrupted natural beach and habitat forming processes, resulting in degraded shorelines or beaches. Extensive loss of mid-upper-beach habitat and a shift in the sediment composition of remaining beach impact both salmon and forage fish habitat. Forage fish need sand and gravel to spawn, and juvenile salmon rely on shallow water areas to avoid predators. The disconnection of riparian areas from the beach and shallow marine waters degrades nearshore food-webs. These changes also reduce the food source for orcas, seals, birds, and other marine organisms.

Project Planning and Implementation

Three stakeholder meetings were held in 2011.  A collaborative stakeholder process was used to identify priorities for restoration of the nearshore to improve both salmon and forage fish habitat.  A technical assessment was used to evaluate the physical characteristics and biological potential of proposed sites.

Nearshore Restoration Project AreaAt the conclusion of the stakeholder process, two restoration approaches for specific sites within the project area were selected for development of a 30% design.  The approaches include Howarth Park Beach Restoration and sediment placement at three key locations. Dredge material from the Snohomish River will be placed at key nourishment sites allowing the drift cell to naturally distribute sediment along the shoreline (see map above). At Howarth Park, the majority of the bulkhead will be removed, leaving only the bulkhead surrounding the tower for structural stability. Additional material will be added to regrade the beach for a more natural profile. The 60% designs were developed in 2013. The final designs will be ready in early 2014.

A public information meeting was held on April 24th, 2014 and 43 local residents attended to learn about the project. Kathleen Herrmann, MRC lead staff, provided an overview of the project and was joined by Dave Lucas, project engineer, to answer questions from the public.

Project partners include the Port of Everett, Snohomish County Surface Water Management, the USACE, the City of Everett and the Tulalip Tribes.

Project Funding

Feasibility, design and construction generously funded by:


*Disclaimer: This web page was developed under Assistant Agreement No. (TBD) awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  It has not been formally reviewed by EPA.  The views expressed are solely those of the Snohomish County MRC and EPA does not endorse any products or commercial services mentioned.


NWSC Benchmarks Achieved:
Marine Habitat, Science, Education & Outreach