The new waterfront park will transform our central waterfront into a conscious part of our city that helps fortify our damaged and neglected shoreline habitat. Specific environmental benefits include:
A New Green Corridor. Twenty acres of new green spaces and a pedestrian promenade with native plantings, including over 400 new trees and over 120,000 new shrubs, all of which will help improve air quality and promote biodiversity.
1.4 Acres of Restored Marine Habitat. Raised marine benches and habitat shelves installed as part of the new seawall will support vital microorganisms that are critical for the near shore ecosystem. Light penetrating surfaces incorporated into the promenade will create desirable conditions for salmon. Habitat Beach, located in Pioneer Square, will transform a section of our waterfront into intertidal habitat supporting salmon migration corridors, with rocky slopes and native vegetation that foster biodiversity.
Stormwater Filtration. Multiple filtration methods for storm water runoff incorporated into the design will help prevent harmful pollutants from flowing into Elliott Bay. These include replacing 57,000 square feet of pavement with permeable surface, and creating bioswales, bioretention planters and subsurface wetlands.
Increased Access. New stairways and elevators, new intersection designs that emphasize pedestrian safety, transit priority lanes on the new Alaskan Way that expedite Metro’s Rapid Ride and other bus lines, and a new 2-mile long cycle track will support a multi-modal transit system that makes traveling to and from the waterfront easier.
Urban Density. The US Census Bureau has identified Seattle as the “fastest growing city in the United States,” making sustainable growth a critical factor of our community’s future health. Our waterfront’s transformation will be a catalyst for the sustainable growth in the communities needing to accommodate population increases. The new waterfront park will also serve as a highly accessible destination park, drawing people from throughout Seattle’s neighborhoods and the region to enjoy stunning views of our majestic Elliott Bay.