While the banks of theÂ DuwamishÂ are intermingled with industry and a few parks, it`s also rich in history. Producer Feliks Banel shares his exploration of theÂ DuwamishÂ River featuring DRCC’s Coordinator James Rasmussen.
The decision facing us on Seattleâ€™s hometown river has the potential to be transformational. Now that cleanup is beginning, will we choose an approach that benefits just some, or all of the riverâ€™s communities?
Sustainable West Seattle presenting ‘A Vision for the Duwamish River – Community, Restoration, and Conservation’
The Duwamish is Seattleâ€™s only river and the five-mile stretch running through Seattle is listed by the Environmental Protection Agency as a federal Superfund site. The Duwamish is one of the most contaminated rivers in the country from years of industrial pollution as well as wastewater and storm-water runoff. Efforts are underway by many groups and agencies to clean up the river and restore the river ecosystem.
Boeing built an empire on the banks of the Duwamish River and now itâ€™s trying to return some of the favor. Workers on Friday rolled out mats of native grasses and anchored them along banks that were once covered with fortifying boulders and invasive species like blackberries. Itâ€™s part of what Boeing calls the largest planned wildlife habitat restoration project on the waterway. The rehab project is taking place near the now removed Plant Two where Boeing built the B-17 that helped win World War II. Acres of shoreline that was reinforced with boulders to support and protect the company were cleared of manmade structures. Gary Chittim reports
The Duwamish River provides immigrants in South Seattle with food, money, and cultural identity. Itâ€™s also making them sick. Can the EPAâ€™s $305 million cleanup fix one without destroying the other?
In a classroom at South Seattle Community College 14 local residents shimmy into hazmat suits, waving their arms like Michelin men and women… They’re part of a program run by the EPA to train people who live hear Superfund sites to qualify to work on the cleanup.
Cleaning up the Duwamish River Superfund site will involve removing almost 800,000 cubic yards of sediment laced with heavy metals, PCBs, arsenic and other pollutants.
Marianne Clark is one of the trainees from the nearby Georgetown neighborhood. She lives in the same house her family has owned on the Duwamish River for 100 years.
“All generations have eaten out of that river and so Ive got such a big stake in it,” she says. “I dont want to pass the river on to my grandchildren the way it is now.”….
Peter Steinbrueck, candidate for mayor, sent a letter to the EPA Thursday, calling on the agency to no tonly clean up the Lower Duwamish pollution, but also commit to preventing future upstream pollution.
“A cleaner river means healthy fish and it means healthier communities,” said Steinbrueck, an architect and longtime environmental activist.