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Restoring Puget Creek and addressing environmental justice for all, including for the Duwamish Tribe, is an expensive dream with compelling reasons to undertake (please see the Opportunities page).  The physical and ecological obstacles are not limited to the following:

The headwaters, now the Sanislo School playground, are severely degraded with the previous pond being drained and diverted to Longfellow Creek. 

Most Seattle greenspaces are in decline due to historic clear-cutting of evergreen forests, followed by deciduous regrowth (short-lived Bigleaf Maple and Alder), followed by invasive plant infestations (mostly ivy, blackberry, and holly) that prevent the natural regeneration of native tree canopy.  The Cascade Land Conservancy projects Seattle could lose 70% of its forest trees in 20 years (if we do nothing), and currently, English holly stems alone outnumber native tree starts 9 to 1 (Pioneer Park Forest Health Survey, 2008).

Seattle Public Utilities installed a sanitary sewer line in the riparian path of Puget Creek (19th Ave SW ravine) approximately 25 years ago which inadvertently compacted soils and invited weed infestations.  The drain rock surrounding the utility line reduces the visible streamflow that was year-round before the sewer and playground installation.  Due to Puget Creek Watershed Alliance’s (PCWA) early advocacy, the sewer line is largely unused since PCWA successfully halted development by establishing 8 acres of the ravine as a Seattle Parks Natural Area (19th SW & SW Brandon) in 1991.

The grade of Puget Creek north of SW Dawson through Puget Park is quite steep, and its flow is piped 1/4 mile along West Marginal Way SW north of its natural path which the Duwamish Tribe has been trying to daylight (take it out of the pipe and recreate a functioning riparian area) at its historic confluence to the Duwamish River (near Puget Way SW).

Kiln dust, a by-product of cement manufacture, was allowed to be deposited in the Duwamish Greenbelt in earlier decades, trucked in by the ton on roads built on foundations of spent lead batteries.  Arsenic and heavy metals leach from the kiln dust, and rainwater runoff is affected by the high pH of kiln dust (basic, similar to Drano, opposite of acidic) which could degrade the best juvenile salmon-rearing habitat in the Lower Dumamish River/Waterway near Kellogg Island, Herring’s House Park & T-107 Park.