The Olympia Coalition for Ecosystems Preservation (OCEP) recently conserved two acres on West Bay Drive that are contiguous with the now 18.5 acres of conserved land in the West Bay Woods in Olympia, WA. The entire West Bay Woods is an important watershed to West Bay in Budd Inlet, and represents a meaningful opportunity to address the significant water quality issues in Budd Inlet by enhancing stormwater infiltration and detoxification with green infrastructure. The eastern edge of the newly acquired properties consists of remnant feeder bluffs that once marked the pre-settlement shoreline of West Bay in Budd Inlet.
This site (directly across the bay from the Port of Olympia) has experienced significant disturbance over the past century. Most recently in 2014, the City of Olympia removed approximately 250 mature trees from the slope and surrounding area as part of the construction of a retaining wall and sidewalk. The City, however, neglected to implement the final stage of construction, a required tree plan. The result is a denuded slope that has experienced significant and predictable invasive species growth.
OCEP proposes to restore and revegetate this area and to construct a landscaped stormwater pond that would significantly enhance stormwater treatment of upland flows by increasing capacity and by reducing flow through the adjacent contaminated Reliable Steel site located on the Budd Inlet shoreline. The location of the proposed pond was once a paved parking lot for the Reliable Steel site before it shut down in 2009. Rose funding would be dedicated to the construction of the pond and associated check dams in the seasonal stream that is partly fed by two upland, Rose-funded green infrastructure projects.
The project represents a significant partnership-building opportunity for OCEP as we pivot from the forested watershed to the conservation, remediation and restoration of the post-industrial West Bay Shoreline that is currently a target for development.