Port Commission vote could further Upper Clear Creek salmon habitat project

The Port of Tacoma is poised to move closer this week to completing an environmental project that will create a salmon-friendly habitat area on Upper Clear Creek.

The project is part of a $4.65 million agreement reached between the Port of Tacoma, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Justice to mitigate for wetland impacts due to the Port’s earlier efforts to eradicate invasive snails.

In July 2012, Port of Tacoma Commissioners authorized spending $1.175 million on early design work for the project. On Wednesday, commissioners are scheduled to vote on a resolution that would authorize the Port to spend approximately $9 million to complete the project, which includes the design, construction, and mitigation bank establishment for approximately 40 acres of habitat. More specifically, the project involves re-channel a portion of the creek, creating a salmon spawning area, and building forested wetlands. The Upper Clear Creek site is located off Gay Road south of the Puyallup River.

If commissioners approve the expenditure this week, the Port of Tacoma is expected to advertise for bids early next month, and award a contract in late-May. The project is expected to be completed in late-2017.

The Port of Tacoma Commission is scheduled to vote on the issue during its meeting on Weds., March 12, at 12 p.m., in Room 104 of the Fabulich Center, 3600 Port of Tacoma Road. Meetings are streamed live online at portoftacoma.com.

The Port of Tacoma has proposed developing a higher-quality habitat restoration to include forested wetlands and stream enhancements at Upper Clear Creek, a salmon-bearing stream in the Puyallup River watershed, as part of a tentative agreement it has reached with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over alleged wetlands violations. (PHOTO COURTESY PORT OF TACOMA)

The Port of Tacoma has proposed developing a higher-quality habitat restoration to include forested wetlands and stream enhancements at Upper Clear Creek, a salmon-bearing stream in the Puyallup River watershed, as part of a tentative agreement it has reached with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over alleged wetlands violations. (PHOTO COURTESY PORT OF TACOMA)

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