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A PUGET SOUND INITIATIVE location – Reaching the goal of a healthy, sustainable Puget Sound

Port Gardner and Lower Snohomish Estuary Regional Background

Port Gardner and the Lower Snohomish Estuary is one of seven priority bays Ecology is working on throughout Puget Sound as part of the Puget Sound Initiative. Part of this work includes implementing the newly revised Sediment Management Standards (SMS) rule, Chapter 173-204 WAC. The new SMS rule will become effective on September 1, 2013 and Ecology is currently undertaking key tasks to implement the new provisions.

A key provision in the new SMS rule is the concept of regional background. Ecology is currently working to establish regional background for sediment in Port Gardner Bay and the Lower Snohomish Estuary. Regional background will be used to establish the upper cap for sediment cleanup levels, inform cleanup decisions, and identify potential areas of sediment contamination that may require cleanup in the Bay and Estuary. You may find more information on the SMS rulemaking and regional background here.

Where can I view the Sampling and Analysis Plan?

Please click on the link below under "Documents" or visit the information repository location listed at the right for a CD copy of available documents.

When will the results of the sampling be available and where can I get information on the results?

Phase I Field Sampling. Ecology completed the Phase I field sampling in spring 2013.  Based on comments received on the Phase I Preliminary Data Package, Ecology decided to conduct supplemental sampling in spring 2014. This sampling effort is referred to as Phase II.

Phase I Preliminary Sampling/Data Results.   The Phase I Preliminary Data Package containing a summary of the data was developed and made available for review and comment to interested stakeholders in summer 2013.  Based on comments received, Ecology decided to conduct supplemental sampling (Phase II) in Port Gardner Bay.

Phase II Supplemental Sampling.  The draft Phase II Supplemental Sampling and Analysis Plan was made available for review and comment and finalized in spring 2014.  Ecology completed the field sampling in late April 2014.

Phase II Technical Workshops/Meetings. Ecology conducted a meeting to discuss the Phase II Supplemental Sampling and Analysis Plan on April 7, 2014.  In addition a Technical Workshop was held on Monday September 8, 2014 to discuss the Phase II Draft Summary/Data Report at the Port of Everett Blue Heron Room.

Phase II Data Summary Report.  Ecology considered all comments received from the Technical Workshop to complete the Phase II Draft Data Evaluation and Summary Report.   This report was made available for stakeholder to review for 30 days.  The comment period ended on December 24, 2014.  The final Data Evaluation and Summary Report is complete and may be accessed under "Documents" below.

All documents are available below under "Documents".   Please click on the links below or visit the information repository location listed at the right for a copy.


Additional Resources

Photo: Orca


Location: Port Gardner Bay, Snohomish County

map showing site location as Snohomish County, WA

For information on the Regional Background Sampling contact:

Chance Asher
Sediment Program Policy Lead
For site information contact:  
Peter Adolphson

Repository Locations:

Washington State Department of Ecology
Toxics Cleanup Program
300 Desmond Drive
Lacey, WA 98504-7600
Please call Andrea Flaherty
at 360/407-7180 or
e-mail for a copy.