The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and local sponsor the Port of Everett in Seattle, Washington, began maintenance dredging of the upper and lower channel of the Everett Harbor and Snohomish River on November 18, and the material will be beneficially used on Jetty Island.
The Corps awarded a contract to Portable Hydraulic Dredging, LLC. of Anchorage, Alaska for $1.5 million. Approximately 100,000 cubic yards of material will be dredged from the upper channel and placed on an adjacent upland site. The Corps will also dredge 40,000 cubic yards from the lower channel, which will be beneficially placed on Jetty Island’s west shore.
The port-owned Jetty Island is a man-made island made of sediment dredged from the Snohomish River. It began as a riprap jetty in the late 1800s and provided a protected harbor and navigation channel. The Port of Everett gained ownership of Jetty Island in 1929 and, with the help of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, built a new marsh of dredged river materials in 1989.
The original dredged material placed on Jetty Island has been added to over time and is more than 100 years old. The project has been added to overtime as the result of maintenance dredging of the Snohomish River Channel. Juvenile salmon, waterfowl and bald eagles are just a few examples of the wildlife living around and on Jetty Island. Continuous work is being done to improve and expand the island’s wildlife habitat.
Jetty Island is as educationally important as it is for summer recreation, serving as the perfect teaching tool regarding the importance of wildlife preservation and the nearby estuary. There are several educational walks and tours offered to learn about the local ecosystem. Many visitors come to observe the wide variety of bird species that have made Jetty Island their home. More than 50,000 people visit the Jetty Island each year.