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All About South Park

December 2014 Community Meeting Minutes

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7:08 Introductions & Announcements

    1. SPNA Transportation Committee, Dagmar Cronn announced that the committee (first convened in Oct 2010) will no longer meet monthly but will meet less often.


  • Boeing, Brian Anderson announced that their section of dredging is 80% complete and will be shut down for a week during December holidays.


7:30 Police Report

Officer Berg reported a rash of stolen vehicles culminated in a series of arrests related to a big ring of thieves operating in Seattle and south to Federal Way.

Juan Colorado has their liquor license back. There is gang tagging near the library. The purple house on the NW corner of Cloverdale and 7th is under eviction notice.

Officer Berg indicated that having information about what kind of drug activity was going on is helpful in eventually getting an arrest.  For example, he mentioned that observing a copper scouring pad (known crack cocaine paraphernalia) enabled a search leading to an arrest.

7:17 Please nominate South Park Unsung Heroes! To be awarded during the SPNA January potluck, Jan 13, 6pm at the neighborhood center, 8201 10th Ave S.

  • Give us their name and how we can get in touch with them.
  • Tell us in a couple or three sentences what they do for the community.
  • Present SPNA Board Members and those awarded previously will not be awarded.

To see a list of previous awardees, see

Request for letter of support for Duwamish River Clean-up Coalition (DRCC) Rivertrail grant application: $68,000 from Wells Fargo in partnership with WA Dept of Fish and Wildlife. Matching grants from other partners will amount to at least $210,000. $12,000 of the grant is budgeted for the DRCC Youth Corp program.

The project to be executed stems from a process begun in part during the Duwamish Valley Vision Plan (completed 2009). Subsequent outreach to 500 community members – the greensppace vision plan – identified interest in routes connecting entry points to South Park for cyclists and pedestrians. The River Trail will extend from the South Park bridge to the boundary of South Park at the 5th Ave street end. The plan is accessible online at the Seattle Park Foundation:

MOTION: (Dagmar, Lora) For the SPNA to provide a letter of support to the DRCC’ Wells Fargo/ Fish & Wildlife grant application for the River Trail.  Unanimously passed.

7:30 T117 Habitat Restoration and Public Shoreline Access, Port of Seattle, Jon Sloan, Environmental Project Manager

After early objections from the community to a plan to clean up T117 and fence it off, in 2006 the Port executed an outreach process in South Park to identify community priorities for shoreline rehabilitation. Wildlife habitat was identified as a priority.  Plan development started in 2011. During planning, project leaders petitioned for additional funding to provide public shoreline access at the site.

T117 clean-up will be completed by 2014 year end opening the way for habitat construction in 2015.

6 acres of shoreline will be restored to marsh and native riparian areas. Three public access areas are included in the plan:

  1. Dallas at 17th Ave will feature a vehicle pullout (large enough to accommodate a school bus), wide sidewalk, bike rack and kayak lock-up feature (for use while going to park vehicle). Accessible natural habitat will be featured using a boardwalk at marsh level so that visitors can interact with the vegetation. Logs and stone features will provide features for kids recreation and exploration. The top of the river bank in this area is at about 17 feet above low tide. The path from the 17th Ave at Dallas St pullout will take visitors into a marsh basin about 6 – 8 feet below this. At exceptionally high tides this area will be under water.
  2. A hand-carry cobble boat launch, accessed from a concrete and board path from the Dallas St pullout will be at the north end of the site (the site starts just south of the South Park Marina). This site will include a pier for water access and viewing. Natural habitat areas on both sides of the river will be visible as well as views to the north and likely Mt Rainier to the South.
  3. Donovan streetend and the end of Dallas are the site of a City of Seattle stormwater runoff control project. A trail on that site will link to T117’s 750 foot lighted pathway, featuring viewpoints and interpretive information, at the south end of the site.  This will lead to an elevated observation platform. A repurposed cruise terminal gangway will lead to a 35 foot high platform which will afford views of the waterway, wildlife habitat areas in the T117 site and Boeing’s restored shoreline to the south, as well as views north to downtown and south to Mt Rainier.

Materials and features of the site will include salvaged wood, stone and man-made objects that Port of Seattle has in their stores. Artistic features will likely include a navy bollard, a 25’ sculpture consisting of a 12.5 foot (non-climbable) plinth and a series of native style fishing baskets containing glass balls, red resin floats and other features. Besides granite benches made from material from an excavation next to Union St Station and benches carved into driftwood logs and nurselogs, wood benches hung with gabion baskets containing river stones are also planned.  Jon mentioned that they also have a volume of crushed glass from the recycling plant available and are seeking ideas for how to incorporate it.

Timeline: Jan 26th, 2015 Port Commission meeting – final authorization for the habitat restoration and public shoreline access project will be sought.

  • Feb – May 2015: Bids sought and contracts signed.
  • June/July 2015: habitat and shoreline access construction to start.
  • Oct 2015: in-water work to commence
  • Feb 2016: planting of vegetation
  • Dec 2016 – Feb 2017: additional planting
  • March 2017: project enters the monitoring and maintenance phase.

Several community members thanked Jon and his colleagues for working for the creating of this wildlife resource in our community.  It was noted that the process started with the community attending a Port Commission meeting to ask for something like this and it would be great to send a delegation to the Jan 26th meeting to say thanks and show the importance of this to the community.  BJ Cummings volunteered DRCC resources to provide transportation to the meeting, as was done for the initial request.

Responding to requests from the group Jon indicated that he and his staff are available to present the project to other community groups, and that he will pursue time-lapse photos of the site development.

8:08pm Lower Duwamish Waterway Clean-up, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Allison Hiltner, Project Manager  presented the “Record of Decision” (ROD) for the final clean-up plan. In response to the options presented in the proposed plan, 2300 comments were received by the EPA.  In conjunction with work at the Early Action Areas (hotspots) and WA Dept of Ecology work to control sources of pollution entering the Duwamish the final EPA plan will reduce contamination in the waterway by over 90 percent.

Links to the full ROD and to a summary fact sheet are available at

Next steps will involve Jan 6th, 2015 Town Hall meeting, 10:00am for a technical review; Jan 14th, 2015, South Park Neighborhood Center, Q&A with DRCC Technical Advisor Dr Peter deFur; Jan 21st 2015, Concord School, Community outreach (multilingual); Late Jan, 2015, Georgetown community outreach.

An advisory group will be developed during the outreach process to help integrate the clean-up work and community concerns and to provide input into design.

The design phase will last 4 years. One of the first steps will be to identify funding from the responsible parties for the design phase.  Subsequently or concurrently, monies for the implementation will be sought from responsible parties and from others.

Acreages Clean-up Type
29 Early Action Areas (Hotspots)
177 Active Cleanup (see breakdown below)
235 Natural Recovery (no clean-up)
441 Total affected area


Acreages Clean-up Type
105 Dredging, partial dredging with capping
24 Capping only
48 Enhanced natural recovery
177 Total Active cleanup

Cost is expected to be $342 Million

Success is determined by testing sediment to determine whether contaminant levels have been reduced to acceptable levels – the goal of the Final Clean-up Plan is to bring Lower Duwamish Waterway contaminant levels to that of the “Puget Sound background” levels, ie. an average from the undeveloped areas of Puget Sound.

In response to questions from community members:

Contaminants tested: PCB’s, dioxins, arsenic and carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons – 4 threats to human health, plus 40 other markers for ecological health.

Fish advisories – target is for Do Not Eat advisory to be lifted and for a 90% reduction in risk of exposure to contaminants from eating fish.

ECOSS is contracted to work with the  fisher communities to determine concerns and impacts. Scroll to the third article in this link.

Dredging methods being used now and to be used in next phases are very clean. The problematic dredging  methods used 10 years ago were ‘non-environmental methods’. Current methods, the ones used at T117, Boeing, Slip 4 and about to start at Jorgensen, are clean-dredge methods – important aspects are: skilled operators and use of a fixed arm attached to a hydrolically closing bucket. The barge onto which the dredged material is loaded is likewise fully contained to prevent spillage.  Over the course of the clean-up of the Early Action Areas (hotspots) only one reportable incident occurred.  According to what Allison and BJ Cummings of DRCC told us, the remaining 105 acres which the Record of Decision indicates will be subject to dredging are not hot spots, thus if any sediment were to escape into the waterway during dredging, it would be even less likely to cause a detectable level in the water.

In response to enquiry about whether it is safe to enter the river, Allison said the sediment and water at Waterway Park have been tested and were at Puget Sound background levels for the four industrial contaminants that impact human health.  Don’t go in the water if it has rained in the last 3 days. The combined sewer system overflows from a recent rainfall will result in household sewer release into the Duwamish and Puget Sound outfalls.

Next South Park Community Meeting: It’s our semi-annual potluck! One hour earlier than usual, January 13th, 2014, 6pm at 8201 10th Ave S. Please come even if you can’t bring a dish to share!

8:50 pm the meeting adjourned.