Mitigation Projects

Hylebos Creek Estuarine Restoration Site

The Hylebos Creek Estuarine Restoration Project is a 6.7-acre site located adjacent to Hylebos Creek near Commencement Bay. Historically the site supported tidal wetlands; however, by 1996 the site had been isolated from Hylebos Creek by a man-made berm, was dominated by non-native species, and contained several structures and a significant amount of debris.

In 2007, Wildlands implemented the first phase of restoration, which was to demolish all the structures (including three houses, a machine shop, storage sheds, and a concrete driveway) on site and remove 942 tons of debris. In 2009, Wildlands implemented the second phase of construction, which included excavation and grading to create a complex of marsh, channel, mud flat, and upland buffer habitats on the site.

The Restoration Project is now a functioning estuarine marsh featuring intertidal channels and forested upland. The re-established estuarine habitats have replaced a limited resource within the Hylebos Creek Watershed and have restored natural habitat-forming processes for the benefit of Chinook salmon, steelhead, bull trout, and other native fish and wildlife species. Wildlands has implemented an ongoing adaptive monitoring and management program to ensure the future success of the Restoration Project.

To conduct these restoration activities, Wildlands obtained permits and coordinated with the Army Corps of Engineers, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, Washington State Department of Ecology, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the City of Tacoma.

While developing the Restoration Project, Wildlands maintained a continual working relationship with the Natural Resource Trustees for Commencement Bay (“Trustees”), an entity responsible for cleanup activities and Natural Resource Damage Assessment (“NRDA”) of Superfund sites located in Commencement Bay. Wildlands and the Puyallup Tribe, a member of the Trustees, partnered together to oversee successful implementation of the Restoration Project. After a five year habitat establishment period, Wildlands will deed the Restoration Project to the Puyallup Tribe.

Project Highlights

  • Within Water Resource Inventory Area (WRIA) 10
  • Provide habitat for Chinook salmon, bull trout, and other wildlife
  • Restored habitats include marsh, channel, mud flat, and upland buffer

6.67 acres

Location: Pierce County, Washington

Mitigation Types

  • Salmonids

Service Area

The greater Puget Sound Basin, representing the evolutionary significant units of the listed Chinook salmon and the range of bull trout.

Approving Agencies

  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • National Marine Fisheries Service
  • Washington State Department of Ecology
  • Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • City of Tacoma

For additional information on the Hylebos Creek Estuarine Restoration Site, please contact Julie Maddox at (916) 435-3555 or