Sound Transit recognized by state Department of Ecology for environmental restoration project

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Unique project helps restore Puget Sound estuary for salmon, wildlife

The State Department of Ecology today presented Sound Transit its Environmental Excellence Award for the agency's role in a unique estuary-restoration project near Marysville.

The Environmental Excellence Award is the Department of Ecology's highest award for recognizing environmental excellence in the state of Washington.

"Sound Transit found a tremendous opportunity to amplify a required environmental offset," said Jeannie Summerhays, regional director for Ecology's Bellevue office. "The agency went well beyond the normal scope of project mitigation to solve some challenges that enabled the Qwuloolt estuary project to move forward."

The Qwuloolt (Kwoo-LOOLT) project will restore about 380 acres of unused farmland into a salt marsh, the land's original condition. The project will re-establish important salmon habitat and aid in the recovery of Puget Sound. Several government agencies, coordinated by the Tulalip Tribes of Washington, have purchased numerous land parcels and secured most of the funding needed to begin the $11 million project.

"We are proud to see the work Sound Transit and our partner agencies put into this project recognized by the State Department of Ecology," said Julia Patterson, Sound Transit Board Vice Chair and King County Council member. "Sound Transit takes great pride in ensuring all of our projects tread lightly on the environment and improve the quality of life in our region."

More information on the award. 

More information on the Qwuloot estuary project.