Cantwell Celebrates Salmon Restoration Project at Edmonds’ Meadowdale Beach Park

Cantwell: “Puget Sound is a salmon powerhouse, but only if we have projects like this”; Since 2018, Cantwell has led the charge to secure federal support for a first-of-its-kind project to raise rail lines along Puget Sound shores, remove a 6-foot culvert & restore critical habitat

EDMONDS, WA – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) joined Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers, Councilmember Strom Peterson, and representatives from the Tulalip Tribe for a grand opening of the Meadowdale Beach Park and Estuary Restoration Project.

“The six-foot wide culvert that was once here was not working for salmon,” Sen. Cantwell said. “The Meadowdale restoration project is a win-win-win project. […] People don't understand how much Puget Sound is a salmon powerhouse, but only if we have projects like this: Where the salmon can have a helpful hand in returning to their spawning grounds.”

The Meadowdale Beach Park and Estuary Restoration Project replaces a narrow six-foot culvert that had previously provided the only public access to the beach with a new rail bridge and accessible pedestrian walkway ensuring beach goers do not have to cross active railroad tracks. Replacing the culvert will also help restore a 1.3 acre estuary so that it can again provide vital habitat to threatened Chinook salmon and other species. It is the first project of this kind along the rails that line Puget Sound’s shores.

“In 1891, an early Washington state rail company built this track to expand commerce and international trade routes. Today, roughly 40 trains travel through Meadowdale Beach carrying agricultural products, grain and passenger destinations on the I-5 corridor. So even though this was an important commerce project, […] dire environmental consequences really weren't taken into consideration,” Sen. Cantwell said. “Now, over 100 years later, we have come to celebrate this community and a solution that is going to help us have salmon thrive again in Lund’s Creek.”

Sen. Cantwell led the charge for federal support of the project which funded roughly 25 percent of the total costs. Sen. Cantwell first wrote a letter of support for this project in 2018, which helped the project receive a $3.5 million grant from the Cantwell-championed Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) program the following year. In 2021, Sen. Cantwell attended the project groundbreaking. A full timeline of her history advocating for this project is available HERE.

Video of Sen. Cantwell’s remarks is available HERE, audio HERE, and photos of today’s ribbon-cutting ceremony are HERE.