Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Seattle Park Shoreline Caters to Salmon

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Seattle Park Shoreline Caters to Salmon

Article excerpt

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When the city of Seattle created its Olympic sculpture Park that opened Jan. 20, more ought was placed on the project than just landscaping and local art exhibits. The park's planning extends under the water of Elliott Bay and into the habitat of young salmon. A gentle slope gives salmon refuge and offers a habitat for the kind of crustaceans that salmon eat. The idea was to return the environment to the "pre-urban" condition that existed before the shoreline's development more than 200 years ago.

In the original, untouched habitat, young salmon leaving the Duwamish River to the south could live in a chain of shallow waters and marshes on the bay. Development paved over and filled in the beaches, leaving salmon with less habitable environments.

The result of the park's environmental initiative is a changed ecosystem. During the park's construction, 50,000 tons of rock were dropped into the bay to create a 15-foot ledge that would produce fish habitats. Once muddy and uninhabitable from years as the site of a fuel transfer station, the water is now a picturesque part of the park. …

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