Stillaguamish River GRP

Table of Contents


Site Description

This section provides a description of the physical features, hydrology, climate, and winds in the Stillaguamish River GRP planning area, and an oil spill risk assessment in Section 2.6.  The STLGR-GRP planning area covers approximately 89 square miles in the northern part of Snohomish County.  The planning area resides entirely within Snohomish County and includes the city of Arlington.  To the northwest the planning area adjoins the newly developed Skagit River GRP.  The north and south borders are adjacent to the North Central Puget Sound GRP.  The eastern boundary of the planning area is well within the lowland area, as the base of Mount Baker lies more than 10 miles to the east.  This area is the traditional homeland of the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians.  In the mid-1800’s the majority of the population lived along the main branch of the Stillaguamish River, as well as the north and south forks.  No separate reservation was established for the Stillaguamish, although some did move to the Tulalip Reservation, just south of the STLGR-GRP planning area.  The majority of the Stillaguamish tribal members still live in their traditional homeland area.  Their tribal headquarters is located in the town of Arlington.  In addition to the Stillaguamish, ten other tribes have potential interests in the area due to their usual and accustomed fishing places.  These include the: Lummi, Muckleshoot, Nooksack, Samish, Sauk-Suiattle, Snoqualmie, Suquamish, Swinomish, Tulalip, and the Upper Skagit Tribes.

Physical Features

The majority of the planning area in the STLGR-GRP is relatively flat lowlands surrounding the Stillaguamish River and its tributary creeks.  The planning area does not include the river delta or lands adjacent to marine waters.  The western boundary of the area is more than 4 miles upstream from the mouth of the Stillaguamish River.  In the same manor, the eastern side of the planning area does not extend into the mountainous and heavily forested areas.  The Stillaguamish River flows in a westerly direction, although it meanders considerably throughout its broad floodplain.  The river has two main forks, the north fork coming from the northeast, and the south fork coming from the southeast.  The forks meet at the town of Arlington, with approximately two miles of each fork included in the planning area.

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At least twelve other smaller creeks or sloughs contribute to the flow of the Stillaguamish River, including: Armstrong Creek (3.1 Miles), Cook Slough (1.7 Miles), March Creek (2.4 Miles), Pilchuck Creek (9.2 Miles), Portage Creek (10 Miles), and South Slough (1.8 Miles).  The creeks with the most miles in the planning area include Portage Creek with ten miles coming from the south and Pilchuck Creek with 9.2 miles coming from the north.

The predominant use of this area is for agriculture.  Second only to aerospace, agriculture is Snohomish County’s largest dollar volume industry.  Farmers in this area grow corn, fruit and vegetables, and raise livestock for meat and dairy (WSU Extension, 2014).  The remainder of the area is taken up by suburban housing developments, especially in the area along I-5 between North Marysville and Arlington.

The major transportation corridor in western Washington passes through this planning area.  Almost 17 miles of Interstate 5 goes in a north-south direction through the center of the area.  Highway 9, located close to the eastern side of the area, also goes in a north – south direction.  The other major highways, highway 530, 531, and 532, all run in east west direction.  Olympic Pipeline roughly parallels I-5, bringing refined petroleum products from the northern refineries to the major cities in western Washington and Oregon.  BNSF railroad, which transports crude oil to the northern refineries, has approximately 20 miles of track in this area and roughly parallels I-5.

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The Stillaguamish River watershed is located in northern Snohomish and southeastern Skagit Counties, in western Washington.  It is the fifth largest watershed draining water from the Cascade Mountains into Puget Sound.  Just outside of the STLGR-GRP planning area to the west, a small portion of the basin travels to Skagit Bay through the Old Stillaguamish Channel.  The watershed, which covers 683 square miles (1774 km2), is heavily used for agriculture, and recreational pursuits, such as boating, swimming, tubing, and fishing.  The Stillaguamish watershed is home to nearly all salmon and trout species found in the Puget Sound area, with 870 miles of anadromous salmon habitat.

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Sedimentation problems in the Stillaguamish are a concern to fish biologists.  Landslides associated with human land uses are the primary source of sediment.  There were a total of 1,080 landslides recorded in the area between the early 1940s through the early 90, and then on March 22, 2014 the Oso landslide occurred on the North Fork (WA State Conservation Commission, 1999). Within the first year after the landslide, the U.S. Geological Survey’s stream gauges measured a cumulative total of 800,000 tons of sediment that eroded from the Oso slide zone.  Increases in peak streamflows exacerbate sediment problems, and although low streamflow are problematic in the Stillaguamish from July through September, due to loss of wetlands and groundwater withdrawals, the North Fork show a systematic increase in peak flows.  Peak flows scour gravel beds, disturbing salmon eggs and juveniles, and move sediment downstream where it may smother eggs in other areas.  The peak flow trend is not found in the South Fork, leading scientist to believe they are related to human land use patterns in the area (Herald Net, 2015).

Portions of WRIA 5 (Stillaguamish) and WRIA 7 (Snohomish) fall within the geographic boundaries of this plan.  Most of the precipitation arrives during the winter months when water demands are the lowest.  During the summer, the snowpack is gone, there is little rain, and naturally low stream flows are dependent on groundwater inflow.  At the same time the demand for water for human uses, including irrigation, are at the yearly maximum.  This means that groundwater and surface water are least available when water demands are the highest.

WRIA 5 (Stillaguamish): The Stillaguamish watershed is situated in the central part of Puget Sound and comprises the northwestern part of Snohomish County and the South central part of Skagit County.  On its west side it is bounded by Puget Sound and its east side includes portions of the Cascade Mountain range.  The watershed is sparsely populated.  This watershed includes the Stillaguamish River and its two forks, which originate in the Cascade Mountains.  The watershed also includes various smaller streams such as Jim, Pilchuck, and Canyon creeks.  Yearly precipitation ranges from 30-35 inches in the coastal area to over 150 inches in the Cascades Mountains.

WRIA 7 (Snohomish): The Snohomish watershed comprises the northeastern portion of King County and south central Snohomish County and includes the city of Everett and its adjacent suburban areas.  On its west side it is bounded by Puget Sound and its east side includes portions of the Cascade Mountain range.  This watershed has significant urban development in its western portion and large areas of agricultural development along the Snohomish River and some of its tributaries.  This watershed includes the Snohomish River and its major tributaries; the Snoqualmie and Skykomish Rivers, which originate in the Cascade Mountains.  The watershed includes various smaller streams such as Pilchuck, Sultan, Raging, and Tolt Rivers.  The South Fork of the Tolt River provides about 30% of the drinking water for the greater Seattle area.  Average precipitation ranges from 30-35 inches per year in the coastal areas to over 180 inches in some parts of the mountains.

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Climate and Winds

The temperatures in the Stillaguamish area remains mild year round, with winter lows above freezing, usually in the low 30s, and summer highs in the low-to-mid 70s from June to September.  Arlington averages under ~5 inches of snowfall in the winter months, but usually there is less than an inch of accumulation.  Total precipitation averages 47 inches annually (WRCC 2016).  Wind speed at Arlington Airport averages 4.9 mph, direction is variable.


Tides and Currents

Tidal influence in the planning area can extend approximately 6 miles inland, especially during the low flow summer months.  Below the confluence of the North and South forks the Stillaguamish meanders west across 18 miles of gradually sloping valley floor to enter Puget Sound at the north end of Port Susan.  The mainstem of the Stillaguamish splits between river miles 6 and 11 into two channels, Cook Slough, a moderate flowing riffle section with a few pools that runs along the south side of valley, and the smaller Old Stillaguamish Channel, a pool and riffle stream, which flows along the north side (WDFW 1975).  There are currently no USGS gage stations in the STLGR-GRP planning area, but the Washington Department of Ecology has a station on the mainstem at river mile 11.2 that measures the average instream flow as ranging from a high of 2200 cfs from November through January, to a low of 1700 cfs from August through October.


Risk Assessment

The Stillaguamish River is plentiful in natural, cultural, and economic resources, all at risk of injury from oil spills.  Potential risks to these resources include, but are not limited to, road systems, rail transportation, oil pipeline, aircraft, recreational boating, and other oil spill risks.  This section briefly discusses these risks and how they could impact the GRP planning area.

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Oil Types: Both refined petroleum products and crude oil are transported in bulk within this planning area. Crude oil and refined products contain a mix of hydrocarbons with varying properties; different types of crude oil and refined products will behave differently when spilled.  Recent changes in oil production have led to an increase in the movement of Bakken light crude and diluted bitumen from Canada transported through the planning area via rail.

Crude oil from the Bakken fields in North Dakota has properties similar to gasoline or diesel, and poses a higher risk of fire because much of it will evaporate quickly into flammable vapors.  Unlike gasoline, the heavier hydrocarbons in the crude will persist in the environment after the light ends evaporate or burn.  Bitumen from the oil sands in Alberta, Canada, is heavy, almost asphalt-like, until it is mixed with lighter oil products known as diluents to create diluted bitumen.  Once mixed, the diluted bitumen will initially float on water after being spilled.  Environmental conditions, such as the density of the receiving waters and sediment load of the receiving waters, will affect how long diluted bitumen floats.  As the light diluents evaporate, the remaining heavy constituents may sink into the water column.  There are specific response actions recommended for non-floating oils, detailed in the Non-Floating Oil Spill Response Tool in the Northwest Area Contingency Plan (NWACP), Section 9412.

Road Systems: Vehicle traffic on roadways pose an oil spill risk in areas where they run adjacent to the shorelines, or cross over lakes, rivers, creeks, and ditches, that drain into the Stillaguamish River.  Major roadways in the area include I-5 (16.7 Miles), Hwy 9 (20.2 Miles), Hwy 530 (18.9 Miles), Hwy 531 (12 Miles), and Hwy 532 (3.2 Miles).  Interstate-5 crosses the Stillaguamish River, and several of its tributaries within the planning area.  There are also several smaller bridges or causeways where vehicles cross tributaries or travel close along the shoreline.

A vehicle spill onto one of these bridges or roadways can cause fuel or oil to flow from hardened surfaces into the Stillaguamish River or its tributaries.  Commercial trucks can contain hundreds to thousands of gallons of fuel and oil, especially fully loaded tank trucks, and may carry almost any kind of cargo, including hazardous waste or other materials that might injure sensitive resources if spilled.  Smaller vehicle accidents pose a risk as well, a risk commensurate to the volume of fuel and oil they carry.

Rail Transportation and Facilities: Rail companies transport oil via both unit trains and manifest trains in this area.  Unit trains include: up to four locomotives, buffer cars, and 118 loaded tank cars transporting oil in 714-barrel (29,998 gallon) capacity USDOT-approved tank cars.  Manifest trains include: up to four locomotives, a mix of non-oil merchandise cars, and one or more 714-barrel (29,998 gallon) capacity USDOT-approved tank cars carrying refined oil products, such as diesel, lubrication oil, or gasoline (WA Dept. of Ecology 2015). These trains may include emptied tank cars, each with residual quantities of up to 1,800 gallons of crude oil or petroleum products.  Every train locomotive typically holds a few hundred gallons of engine lubrication oil, plus saddle tanks that each have an approximate capacity of 5,000 gallons of diesel fuel.  Manifest trains may also transport biological oils and non-petroleum chemicals.

BNSF owns nearly all commercial railroad track within the planning area (20.6 miles), but use of that track may include trains owned by other rail companies.  BNSF trains generally contain mixed load cargos, and might include the transport of hazardous materials, including Bakken crude oil.  These trains carry crude from the Bakken Formation in North Dakota, enter Washington near Spokane, continue along the Columbia River to Vancouver at the Oregon border and then head north along I-5.  The BNSF main rail line enters the STLGR-GRP planning area from the south where it intersects I-5, and continues toward the NNW through Bellingham and Ferndale, and continuing up into Canada.  Five unit trains per week deliver crude to the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes along the rail spur leading west from Burlington along State Highway 20 (WA Dept. of Ecology 2016).  The remaining loaded trains continue north on the Bellingham subdivision at a rate of 1 to 2 trains per day (WA Dept. of Ecology 2016).  A few times per month, unit trains of diluted bitumen are transported south from Canada for delivery to the US Oil refinery in Tacoma.

An additional BNSF track, the Arlington spur exists within the STLGR-GRP planning area.  This section of tracks splits from the mainline in North Marysville and continues to the NE toward Arlington.  Currently, LPG moves in small quantities as the Hazmat on that segment; however, there may be diesel and lube oil also shipped in future on that short spur line.  The main spill risk from trains on this spur are from locomotive saddle tanks, each with an approximate capacity of 5,000 gallons of diesel fuel.  The main spill risk in the STLGR-GRP planning area is from the movement of refined petroleum products (i.e. gasoline, diesel fuel) and other chemicals.

Oil Pipelines:  The BP Olympic Pipeline travels 400 miles from the Cherry Point refinery to Portland, Oregon, with additional input lines from the refineries at Phillips 66 Ferndale, Tesoro Anacortes, and Shell Anacortes.  It delivers to the terminals at Harbor Island in Seattle, jet fuel to SeaTac airport, and facilities in Tacoma before exporting 1.3 billion gallons per year across the Columbia River to Oregon.  The Stillaguamish River planning area has 23.5 Miles of BP Olympic Pipeline running through it.  The pipeline enters the planning area from the north where it parallels I-5 until it crosses Portage Creek where it then begins to drift to the southeast where it departs the planning are in North Marysville.

Aircraft:  Arlington Municipal Airport is the only airport within this planning area.  Managed by the City of Arlington, it is primarily used for general aviation.  Since this airport is located approximately 2 miles to the south of the Stillaguamish River, the potential exists for aircraft failures during inbound or outbound flights that result in a spill by releasing aviation fuel to the river or its tributaries.

Recreational Boating: Accidents involving recreational watercraft on the Stillaguamish River have the potential to result in spills of a few gallons of gasoline up to hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel.  Examples of such accidents might include vessel collisions, allisions, groundings, fires, sinking, or explosions.

Other Spill Risks: Other potential oil spill risks in the area include: fuel storage areas (including waste oil storage), road run-off during rain events, on-shore or near shore activities where heavy equipment is being operated or stored, and the migration of spilled oil through soil on lands adjacent to the river or its tributary streams.

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Resources at Risk

This section provides a summary of natural, cultural, and economic resources at risk in the planning area, including those resources at risk from oils with the potential to sink or submerge. It provides general information on habitat, fish, and wildlife resources, and locations in the area where sensitive natural resource concerns have been identified. It offers a summary of cultural resources that include fundamental procedures for the discovery of cultural artifacts and human skeletal remains. General information about flight restrictions, wildlife deterrence, and oiled wildlife can be found near the end of this section. A list of economic resources in the area is provided in the appendix.

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This section is purposely broad in scope and should not be considered comprehensive. Some of the sensitive resources described in this section cannot be addressed in Response Strategies and Priorities because it is not possible to conduct effective response activities in these locations. Additional information from private organizations or federal, state, tribal, and local government agencies should also be sought during spills.

This material is presented with enough detail to give general information about the area during the first phase of a spill response. During an actual incident, more information about resources at risk will be available from the Environmental Unit in the Planning Section.

Note: specific resource concerns related to areas that already have designated protection strategies may be found in the “Resources At Risk” column of the matrix describing the individual strategies.

The information provided in this section can be used in:

  • Assisting the Environmental Unit (EU) and Operations in developing ad hoc response strategies.
  • Providing resource-at-risk “context” to responders, clean-up workers, and others during the initial phase of a spill response in the GRP area.
  • Briefing responders and incident command staff that may be unfamiliar with sensitive resource concerns in the GRP area.
  • Providing background information for personnel involved in media presentations and public outreach during a spill incident.
  • Providing information on benthic and water column species or cultural resources present to assist in planning for oils with the potential to sink or submerge.

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Natural Resources at Risk – Summary

This area contains a wide variety of aquatic, riparian, and upland habitats. These habitats support many of Washington’s anadromous salmonid species as well as a complex diversity of other wildlife including mammals, birds, and amphibians. Due to their life histories and/or behaviors, some of these species are unlikely to become directly oiled during a spill incident but may be disturbed by other response operations such as cleanup and reconnaissance. Some of the bird species are resident during the year, but many others seasonally migrate through the area.

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Several the species found in this area have been classified under the Federal Endangered Species Act or by the Washington State Fish and Wildlife commission.

Classification types are:

  • Federal Endangered (FE)
  • Federal Threatened (FT)
  • Federal Candidate (FC)
  • State Endangered (SE)
  • State Threatened (ST)
  • State Sensitive (SS)

Federal and State listed species that may occur within this area include:


  • common loon [SS]
  • marbled murrelet [FT/SE]
  • yellow-billed cuckoo [FT/SE]


  • None expected to be present


  • Bull trout [FT]
  • Chinook salmon (Puget Sound) [FT]
  • green sturgeon [FT]
  • steelhead (Puget Sound) [FT]


  • Oregon spotted frog [FT/SE]

Critical habitats:

These are the specific areas, occupied by an endangered or threatened species at the time it was listed, that contain the physical or biological features that are essential to the conservation of that species – and that may need special management or protection. Critical habitat may also include areas that were not occupied by the species at the time of listing but are essential to its conservation.

The following species have federally designated critical habitats within this area:

  • bull trout
  • chinook salmon (Puget Sound)
  • steelhead (Puget Sound)

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General Resource Concerns


  • The river and streams throughout this region provide spawning and rearing habitat for several salmonid species. The associated riparian scrub and woodlands play a crucial role in supporting a large diversity and abundance of songbird species as breeding, migrating, and overwintering habitat.
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  • Wetlands in this region range from freshwater emergent, freshwater forested, freshwater ponds and lakes. All wetland types support a diverse array of bird, insect and fish and wildlife species.
  • Restoration sites are areas where significant efforts have been expended to restore natural functions in a degraded habitat.
  • Islands provide important nesting habitat for various bird species, as well as habitat for a variety of mammals. Gravel bars provide spawning habitat for Chinook salmon.
  • Brackish sloughs and backwater channels provide feeding and resting areas for waterfowl and herons and are rearing areas for juvenile fish.
  • Subtidal/Subsurface Habitats – brackish/freshwater. Shallow intertidal and subsurface habitats occur in this region, extending from the lower river to approximately 2 miles above the confluence of the north and south forks.
    • Fine sediments (mud/silt/sand) – Associated with slow/still water flows. May have aquatic vegetation present. Animals associated with these areas may be salmonid and resident fishes; birds (dabbling ducks); semi-aquatic mammals (muskrat, beaver, etc.); shellfish (freshwater clams); amphibians and reptiles (frogs, newts, salamanders, turtles, etc.); insects (caddis flies, mayflies, dragonflies, and stoneflies). Many other animals also utilize these areas for foraging.
    • Coarse sediments (gravel/cobble) – Associated with moderate water flow. May have aquatic vegetation present. Animals associated with these areas may be salmonid and resident fishes; birds (dippers, harlequin ducks); semi-aquatic mammals (muskrat, beaver, etc.); shellfish (pearlshell mussels, crayfish); amphibians and reptiles (tailed frogs, torrent salamanders; insects (caddis flies, stoneflies). Many other animals also utilize these areas for foraging.
    • Bedrock – Associated with fast water with little or no deposition of loose bed materials. Aquatic vegetation not present. Animals associated with these areas tend to be mostly cold-water (salmonid) fishes, birds (dippers, harlequin ducks), and amphibians (torrent salamanders).


  • All Northwest salmonid species are present in this region (including the listed Chinook and coho salmon, bull trout, and steelhead). Spawning occurs throughout the river system. Juvenile salmonids use the lower river and shallow nearshore areas extensively for feeding and rearing.
  • In addition to salmonids, several dozen species of freshwater fish exist in the Stillaguamish River basin. These species all provide important contributions to stream ecology.


  • Waterfowl concentrations of various species may be found throughout the region in lowland rivers and streams, lakes and ponds, wetlands, and agricultural fields near water bodies. Concentrations especially prevalent from fall through spring.
  • Sensitive nesting species in the region include bald eagles, ducks (including cavity-nesting), and great blue herons.
  • Mammals common to the region include deer and various semi-aquatic species such as muskrat, beaver, river otter, etc. throughout the basin. In general, this group is dependent on riverine areas, ponds, tributaries, and riparian forests for den sites and foraging areas.
  • Resident and migratory songbirds heavily utilize riparian habitats year-round and are susceptible to response activities in riparian vegetation, as well as oiling or oil ingestion if riparian vegetation and shorelines become contaminated.

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Specific Geographic Areas of Concern – Overview

  1. North Meander Reconnection: Off-channel river and wetland habitat. Rearing and refuge habitat for juvenile salmonids and foraging area for bull trout. Waterfowl including swans.
  2. Goodwin Lake area: Freshwater lakes and wetland habitat. Wintering waterfowl concentration area for a variety of species including ducks (dabbling and diving), coots, cormorants, and wading birds (herons). Cavity-nesting waterfowl on Ki and Shoecraft Lakes. Public recreation areas.
  3. Gissberg Twin Lakes Park: Freshwater lakes and wetland habitat. Wintering waterfowl concentration area for a variety of species including ducks (dabbling and diving), coots, cormorants, and wading birds (herons).
  4. Twin Rivers Park (Arlington): Riparian re-vegetation projects. River, riparian, and wetland habitats. Salmonid presence including bull trout, Chinook, and steelhead.

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Specific Geographic Areas of Concern – Maps and Descriptions

Figure 1: Specific geographic areas of concern in the Stillaguamish GRP.

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Cultural Resources at Risk – Summary

Culturally significant resources are present within the planning area. Information regarding the type and location of cultural resources is maintained by the Washington Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation (WDAHP). This sensitive information is made available to the Washington Department of Ecology for oil spill preparedness and response planning. The Tribal Historic Preservation Offices (THPOs) or Cultural Resource Departments of local tribes (see Table 6‑1) may also be able to provide information on cultural resources at risk in the area and should be contacted, along with WDAHP, through normal trustee notification processes when significant oil spills, or smaller spills above reportable thresholds, occur in the area.

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During a spill response, after the Unified Command is established, information related to specific archeological concerns will be coordinated through the Environmental Unit. In order to ensure that tactical response strategies do not inadvertently harm culturally sensitive sites, WDAHP should be consulted before disturbing any soil or sediment during a response action, including submerged soils or sediments. WDAHP and/or the Tribal governments may assign a person, or provide a list of professional archeologists that can be contracted, to monitor response activities and cleanup operations for the protection of cultural resources at risk. Due to the sensitive nature of such information, details regarding the location and type of cultural resources present are not included in this document.

Table 6.1: STLGR-GRP Cultural Resource Contacts

Contact Phone Email
Washington Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation 360-586-3065
Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians 360-652-3687 x14
Lummi Nation, THPO 360-312-2257

Muckleshoot Tribe 253-876-3272
Nooksack Indian Tribe, THPO 360-592-5176

Samish Indian Nation, THPO 360-293-6404 x126
Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe 360-436-0347
Snoqualmie Tribe 425-888-6551
The Suquamish Tribe, THPO 360-394-8529
Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, THPO 360-466-7352
Tulalip Tribes 425-239-0182
Upper Skagit Tribe 360-854-7009

Discovery of Human Skeletal Remains

Any human remains, burial sites, or burial-related materials that are discovered during a spill response must be treated with respect at all times (photographing human remains is prohibited to all except the appropriate authorities). Refer to National Historic Preservation Act Compliance Guidelines (NWACP Section 9403) during an emergency response.

Procedures for the Discovery of Cultural Resources

If any person monitoring work activities or involved in spill response believes that they have encountered cultural resources, all workers must stop immediately and notify the Unified Command and Cultural Resource Specialist. The area of work stoppage must be adequate to provide for the security, protection, and integrity of the material or artifact(s) discovered.

Prehistoric Cultural Resources (May include, but are not limited to, any of the following items):

  • Lithic debitage (stone chips and other tool-making byproducts)
  • Flaked or ground stone tools
  • Exotic rock, minerals, or quarries
  • Concentrations of organically stained sediments, charcoal, or ash
  • Fire-modified rock
  • Rock alignments or rock structures
  • Bone (burned, modified, or in association with other bone, artifacts, or features)
  • Shell or shell fragments
  • Petroglyphs and pictographs
  • Fish weirs, fish traps, and prehistoric watercraft
  • Culturally modified trees
  • Physical locations or features (traditional cultural properties)
  • Submerged villages sites or artifacts

Historic cultural material (May include any of the following items over 50 years old):

  • Bottles, or other glass
  • Cans
  • Ceramics
  • Milled wood, brick, concrete, metal, or other building material
  • Trash dumps
  • Homesteads, building remains
  • Logging, mining, or railroad features
  • Piers, wharves, docks, bridges, dams, or shipwrecks
  • Shipwrecks or other submerged historical objects

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Economic Resources at Risk – Summary

Socio-economic sensitive resources are facilities or locations that rely on a body of water to be economically viable. Because of their location, they could be severely impacted if an oil spill were to occur. Economically sensitive resources are separated into three categories: critical infrastructure, water dependent commercial areas, and water dependent recreation areas. The appendix provides a list of economic resources for this GRP area.

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Fish Hatcheries and Infrastructure:

Facility Name Owner/Operator Waterbody Lat Long Address Phone
Harvey Creek Hatchery Stillaguamish Tribe Armstrong Cr/SF Stillaguamish 48.2190 -122.1361 24509 Harvey Creek Rd 360-435-8770
Jim Creek Hatchery Stillaguamish Tribe Jim Cr/ SF Stillaguamish 48.1836 -122.0762 Jordan Rd 360-435-8770
Stillaguamish Screw Trap Stillaguamish Tribe Stillaguamish 48.2059 -122.2661 2431 Ole Larson Rd, Stanwood
Stillaguamish Scoop Trap Stillaguamish Tribe Stillaguamish 48.1974 -122.2077 220th St. NE

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General Information

Flight Restriction Zones: The Environmental Unit (Planning Section) may recommend Flight Restriction Zones to minimize disturbance or injury to wildlife during an oil spill. Pilots/operators can decrease the risk of aircraft/bird collisions, prevent the accidental driving of wildlife into oiled areas, and minimize abandonment of nests by keeping a safe distance and altitude from these identified sensitive areas.

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The Air Operations Branch (Operations Section) will manage all aircraft operations related to a response and will coordinate the establishment of any Flight Restriction Zones as appropriate. Environmental Unit staff will work with the Air Operations Branch Director to resolve any conflicts that arise between flight activities and sensitive resources.

In addition to restrictions associated with wildlife, Tribal authorities may also request notification when overflights are likely to affect culturally sensitive areas within reservations. See Oil Spill Best Management Practices (NWACP Section 9301) for more information on the use of aircraft and helicopters in open water and shoreline responses.

Wildlife Deterrence: The Wildlife Deterrence Unit within the Wildlife Branch (Operations Section) manages wildlife deterrence operations. These are actions intended to minimize injuries to wildlife by keeping animals away from the oil and cleanup operations. Deterrence activities may include using acoustic or visual deterrent devices, boats, aircraft or other tools. The Wildlife Branch works with state and federal agencies, and the Environmental Unit (Planning Section), to develop deterrence plans as appropriate.

For more information see the Northwest Wildlife Response Plan (NWACP Section 9310) and Northwest Area Wildlife Deterrence Resources (NWACP Section 9311).

Oiled Wildlife: Capturing oiled wildlife may be hazardous to both personnel and the affected animals. Incident personnel should not try to approach or capture oiled wildlife but should report any observations of oiled wildlife to the Wildlife Branch (Operations Section).

For more information see the Northwest Wildlife Response Plan (NWACP Section 9310).

Wildlife Refuges and Wilderness Areas: There are no federally designated wilderness areas in this GRP region.

Aquatic Invasive Species: The waters of this region may contain aquatic invasive species (AIS) – species of plants and/or animals that are not native to an area and that can be harmful to an area’s ecosystem. If so, preventative actions may be required to prevent the spread of these species as a result of spill response activities and the Environmental Unit is able to recommend operational techniques and strategies to assist with this issue.

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