Chuckanut Village Marsh Restoration

Project Overview: EN-0031

Restoration of the Chuckanut Village Marsh enhanced the area's ability to provide pocket estuary functions, including improving water quality and providing rearing, foraging and osmo-regulation for juvenile salmonids migrating from nearby Chuckanut Creek. The project involved:

Additional Background Information

Update - March 2011

Accomplishments:  Construction substantially complete.

Next Milestones:  Final paving, inspection and closeout

Affected Neighborhood


Project Manager

Ravyn Whitewolf, P.E.
Engineering Manager
Renee LaCroix, Environmental Coordinator
Phone: (360) 778-7900
Email Public Works

Project Details

  • Status - Construction
  • Contract Awarded - N/A
  • Contract Amount - $51,628.42
  • Contractor - Larry Brown Construction
  • Completion Date:
  • Final Contract Amount:
  • Vicinity Map

Construction Photographs




Additional Background Information

The goals of the project are to:

  1. Improve water quality by protecting and preserving existing marine resources
  2. Restore impaired areas while enhancing public access
  3. Educate the public about the importance of marine water quality while changing the behaviors that contribute to water quality impairments

Chuckanut Village Marsh Restoration Steps

The City’s consulting team, Coastal Geologic Services, developed a final design for Alternative #1 and incorporated as many citizen comments into the chosen alternative as possible.

Construction is anticipated to occur in 2011 after local, state and federal permits are obtained. Funding for design and permitting is from Whatcom County Marine Resources Committee via Whatcom County. Funding for construction is through a grant from Washington State Department of Ecology.

Chuckanut Bay Habitat

Chuckanut Bay is one of seven pocket estuaries found within Bellingham Bay. Pocket estuaries are shallow, low energy shoreline areas that range from the mouths of small streams and creeks (such as Chuckanut Creek) to nearly enclosed bays and lagoons (such as Padden lagoon).

They can be composed of habitats such as unvegetated mud flats, salt marsh, tidal channels and estuarine wetlands. Cumulatively, pocket estuaries are very important to several life history stages of juvenile chum salmon and federally listed juvenile Chinook and steelhead salmon. Chuckanut Bay and adjacent lands also provide habitat for many species of wildlife, including Great Blue Heron.

Chuckanut Village Marsh restoration was proposed based on an understanding of the ecological importance of this type of habitat and its scarcity locally. Numerous technical assessments attest to the importance of this type of marine habitat.

Public Involvement in Restoration Plans

The City held a series of public meetings in Spring 2009 regarding the Chuckanut Village Marsh restoration project. Three conceptual alternatives were presented at the meetings along with several blank maps for citizens to design other alternatives. Forty-five people commented during the public comment period. Of those stating a preference for one design alternative, a significant majority preferred Design Alternative #1.

For public involvement steps, alternatives presented and other details, see documents listed below:

Project Documents