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Marysville Rethinks Its Waterfront

Restoration, recreation, renovation.

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Marysville, Washington is built on the edge of an estuary. This fact that seems trivial at first, but it’s key to where the city was once, how it positions itself now, and where Marysville is going.

The city has seen itself traditionally as part farming community, part commuter suburb for the nearby Boeing plant in Everett.

Today, Marysville’s consciousness is shifting. Residents and the city’s management are seeing the city as less of a commuter suburb and more of a self-contained destination for recreation, walkability, and small businesses.

Now the estuaries to the south of Marysville, long ago diked by farmers, are being rethought, replanned, restructured.

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Some of the old dikes are being torn down to restore original water routes and traditional tidal flooding. Almost one thousand estuary projects are underway, including putting woody debris in rivers and streams to create salmon spawning habitat.

Kayakers and stand up paddle boarders favor the waters of the slough and estuaries for their interwoven channels. As recreationists set out from the boat launch at the south side of the city, they are able to navigate a maze of bird-filled marshes and tidal zones, or paddle to the Salish Sea for salt water rowing. Along the way they are likely to see blue herons, redwing blackbirds, and the rusting hulls of old boats.

After returning to the boat launch at the south side of Marysville, visitors can walk into the charming downtown on Third Street to get a pastry at Wander Coffee Bar and Eatery for espresso and pastries (1514 3rd St) or visit Third Street Book Exchange (1615 3rd St) to pick out a good book for your travels. Walk to the famous Marysville water tower at Comeford Park (514 Delta Ave) and enjoy the playground, or drive up State Street to the famous Strawberry Lanes (1067 Columbia Ave), the local favorite for bowling a few frames and eating pizza.

Bring a kayak or a stand up paddleboard, explore the estuaries and then go to town—literally. You won’t be sorry that you did.

The Qwuloolt Estuary

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The Tulalip Tribes are leading efforts to restore 400 acres of tidal systems to their natural forms. The 19 square miles of of the Snohomish River Delta comprises one of the largest estuaries on Puget Sound. These restoration projects will open 16 miles of salmon spawning tributaries and help to filter pollutants out of the water.

“Qwuloolt” in the Lushootseed language simply means “marsh.”

Learn more about ongoing environmental restoration efforts at www.qwuloolt.org.

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