Maury Island Natural Area
Located on the southeast shore of Maury Island on lands formerly operated as a sand and gravel mine, the Maury Island site is now a 275-acre open space area under the stewardship of King County Parks. The site contains pure Madrone forests and habitat that supports endangered species such as chinook salmon, orca and bull trout. The site’s nearly one mile of shoreline is the longest undeveloped stretch of Puget Sound shoreline in King County. When combined with the nearby 320-acre Maury Island Marine Park, the two sites represent the largest public holding of protected marine shoreline in all of Puget Sound.
Citizen activists and environmental groups fought plans for mine expansion and advocated for public acquisition of the site. The land was purchased from CalPortland in December 2010, with the involvement of the Cascade Land Conservancy (CLC). Acquisition funding was from the King County Conservation Futures Tax, Washington State Department of Ecology ASARCO Settlement fund and an amendment to CalPortland’s existing royalty agreement for another mining site. In addition, CLC, People For Puget Sound, Preserve Our Islands, Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust and Washington Environmental Council have begun a fundraising campaign to help conserve the site.
Due to previous mining activity and the site's location within the historic Tacoma Smelter plume, plans for land reclamation and soil remediation will be an integral part of site management planning. Future planning efforts will identify appropriate site improvements, such as trail improvements, water access, restroom facilities, picnic areas and parking. Officially selecting and designating a new name for the site will also be part of the public participation process.
For more information about the acquisition visit the press release.
Access: The park can be reached from Seattle by the Fauntleroy-Vashon ferry and from Tacoma by the Point Defiance-Tahlequah ferry. Once on Maury Island, head south on Dockton Road SW, east on SW 260th St. There is no formal access or parking on site, but non-motorized access is allowed via the gated maintenance road.