Fidalgo and Padilla bays are one set of seven Puget Sound water bodies chosen as priorities for substantial cleanup and restoration by 2020. These bays support a highly productive eelgrass nursery for herring, salmon, and other wildlife. We began environmental cleanup and restoration along the rim of the bays in 2007. We chose sites along the bays that we already identified as needing cleanup, but the cleanups were delayed.
Our cleanup work has sparked development of a vibrant area for the community to enjoy, brought in many new businesses, and restored the vitality of the marine zone. Cleanup has moved faster and more smoothly thanks to the participation, encouragement, and vision of the local tribes and community.
Anacortes area baywide highlights
- Six old industrial sites were cleaned up along the waterfront, returning properties to commercial, light industrial, and productive habitat use. Our work continues at an additional five sites around the bays and into Guemes Channel.
- Historical and cleanup signage provided by Trail Tales on the Tommy Thompson trail reminds us of the local history, the effort and commitment needed to clean up the site, and the value of restoring habitat.
- Seafarer’s Memorial Park is part of two former cleanup sites: Scott Paper Mill and Cap Sante Marine. These cleanups yielded a usable beach and eelgrass nursery, amphitheater, kayak launch, and restaurant.
- The Custom Plywood beach restoration project plan includes replanting traditional native plants. Cleanup has created opportunities for boat ramp development for port and private shipping.
- The Fidalgo Bay sediments investigation in 2007 provided valuable information to help us understand where to focus our cleanup efforts. Contact our baywide coordinator for the full report.
- Quiet Cove site cleanup is underway to support the fishing industry and warehouse storage for the Port of Anacortes’ customers.
Fidalgo and Padilla bays are a priority
The Puget Sound Initiative launched a significant effort in 2007 to restore and protect Puget Sound. This directive included seed money to speed cleanup of seven priority bays by 2020. Padilla and Fidalgo bays were chosen because of the important habitat function in this area of Puget Sound. The area supports the second largest eelgrass bed on North America's Pacific Coast, acting as a nursery rearing ground for juvenile fish. A portion of Fidalgo Bay was also designated as a marine wildlife preserve to protect the rich ecosystem.