The Duwamish is our city’s only river, but that is not the only thing that makes it special. Native Americans use the Duwamish as a resource and for cultural purposes. Salmon and trout use it as a migration corridor and a large number of fish and wildlife species use the estuary for rearing. The Duwamish is also a working waterway that supports many of Seattle’s shipping and industrial businesses.
Decades of industry near the Duwamish have left significant contamination in the mud and along the river’s banks.
In 2001, The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) listed a 5.5 mile stretch of the Duwamish River as a Superfund cleanup site. Since then, the City of Seattle, King County, the Port of Seattle and the Boeing Company have invested over $100 Million in early cleanup actions to reduce contamination by 50 percent, while we also work to eliminate ongoing sources of contamination. EPA has a plan to finish the rest of the Superfund cleanup. The Duwamish has been a vital part of Seattle for more than 100 years and we are committed to making sure it continues to be for the next 100 years.
The City’s role
In addition to our commitment to clean-up efforts, we recognize that the communities along the Duwamish have many needs. To address some of these, the City of Seattle created a $250,000 Duwamish River Opportunity fund to enhance existing programs or support new ones.
The City has worked with communities to help establish a process and criteria for the disbursement of these funds.