Joint News Release: City of DuPont, Washington Department of Ecology, CalPortland Company, Nisqually Delta Association - March 24, 2014

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Coalition of partners preserves and protects Puget Sound shoreline area

DUPONT - Mayor Michael Grayum has signed two conservation agreements, significant actions that are part of a collaborative effort to restore the Sequalitchew Creek Watershed in DuPont.

The first easement preserves and permanently protects a mile of Puget Sound shoreline as well as a 45-acre bluff of forest land granted to DuPont by CalPortland Company. The second easement establishes a location for a future pedestrian trail, creating public access.

“These actions will strengthen the health of Washington State’s environment and economy,” Grayum said. “The easements ensure the shorelines and uplands we love so much will be enjoyed by our children and future generations. This is the first of many positive outcomes resulting from a very collaborative effort.”

Grayum applauded the multitude of partners working together to support the common vision of restoring this watershed.

The easements are part of a settlement agreement announced Jan. 25, 2012, that was established in partnership with the Department of Ecology, CalPortland, DuPont, and a broad-based environmental coalition. The coalition is represented by the Nisqually Delta Association and consists of the Nisqually Delta Association, Washington Environmental Council, Anderson Island Quality of Life Committee, and the Tahoma, Black Hills and Seattle chapters of the Audubon Society.

The agreement catalyzed a cooperative planning process to help restore Sequalitchew Creek and Edmond Marsh, just upstream from Puget Sound in DuPont, while allowing CalPortland to submit a new gravel-mining proposal. CalPortland agreed to fund the creek restoration planning process, as well as a major portion of the creek restoration.

The 2012 settlement agreement builds on a previous agreement in 1994. The settlement agreement does not guarantee permits – it only gives CalPortland the ability to apply for permits. Any mining proposal will be subject to additional environmental review, public comment and local, state and federal permit requirements.

Puget Sound’s 2,500 miles of shoreline and upland areas are among the most valuable and fragile of Washington’s natural resources. They include quiet breeding areas for trout and expanses where waves build and carry away beaches. Managing the use and development of Puget Sound’s shorelines and upland areas is important to preserve and protect life and property.

Representatives from the Nisqually Indian Tribe, CalPortland, Ecology and the Nisqually Delta Association applauded the milestone, noting that preserving an additional mile of shoreline and bluffs in DuPont is a major accomplishment achieved through cooperation, negotiation and compromise.

“I have been working in this watershed for 25 years and today marks monumental progress and forward momentum,” said David Troutt, Nisqually Indian Tribe natural resources director. “Together, we are implementing a well-developed plan to restore Sequalitchew Creek, enhance salmon habitat, and protect Puget Sound.”

“CalPortland is proud to continue a legacy of providing quality aggregates, conservation and public access that began in the 1800s with our previous mine site at Chambers Bay,” said Pete Stoltz, CalPortland permitting manager. “Allowing public access and conserving 45 more acres along the shore of Puget Sound will benefit the environment and the community.”

“Shorelines like this mile-long stretch being preserved in DuPont aid efforts to boost the health of Puget Sound, and will draw the community and visitors, who will be able to enjoy an incredible panorama thanks to the new public access. Managing our use and development of Puget Sound shorelines is vitally important. It helps us to preserve and protect what we value,” said Ecology Southwest Region Director Sally Toteff. “Sharing and caring for shorelines is everyone’s responsibility, and innovative partnerships like this one help us sustain healthy water in harmony with a strong economy.”

“The area being conserved is important. It will preserve the Nisqually Reach Aquatic Reserve’s scenic view shed and maintains the biological continuity of the Nisqually Reach and the Nisqually River Delta,” said Tom Skjervold, president of the Nisqually Delta Association. “That nearshore habitat, and the unique geological character of the area, supports salmon, birds and marine mammals that we need for a healthy Puget Sound. This agreement preserves nearly a mile more of shorelines as well as bluffs in DuPont — in perpetuity. Our conservation step here and now sets the stage for further restoration efforts in the future, and is something all the participants in the process can be proud of.”

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Media Contact:

DuPont: Mayor Michael Grayum, (253) 912-5218

Ecology: Communications Manager Linda Kent, (360) 791-9830, @ecySW, or Regional Director Sally Toteff, (360) 407-6307

CalPortland Company: Pete Stoltz, permitting manager, (206) 764-3000

Nisqually Delta Association: President Tom Skjervold, (360) 485-9470

For more information:

Ecology’s social media (www.ecy.wa.gov/about/socialmedia.html)