Snohomish County Department of Conservation & Natural Resources Receives $6 Million in Congressional Funding

March 12, 2024


The Snohomish County Department of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR) will receive nearly $6 million from the U.S. Congress appropriations process. The Food and Farming Center, led by the Agricultural Office and Parks Division, will receive $5 million, and the Chinook Marsh Restoration Project, led by Surface Water Management (SWM), will receive nearly $1 million.

“Senator Cantwell and Representative DelBene’s successful work to secure federal funding for the construction of the Chinook Marsh Restoration Project and Snohomish County’s proposed Food & Farming Center will have positive impacts for generations to come,” said Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers. “The restoration of Chinook Marsh will strengthen vulnerable infrastructure and enhance critical habitat needed for the recovery of Chinook salmon, Orca, and other species. The Food and Farming Center will provide our farmers with equipment and infrastructure that will strengthen our sustainable supply of food and make it easier for our residents to access locally produced foods.”

The Snohomish County Food and Farming Centerwill be located at McCollum Pioneer Park. It will provide farmers with infrastructure for processing, aggregation, distribution, value-added production, and direct and wholesale sales of locally produced agricultural products. The facility will be built using the progressive design-build method and DCNR is in the process of hiring a design-build team. This funding will propel the project forward when combined with $3,250,000 in grant funding awarded in 2023 that will fund the design, site preparations, and part of the construction. The project still needs approximately $25 million in additional funding for the center to be fully realized.

“We have been visioning and planning this facility for more than a decade, and I am so grateful for the funding we have received to bring this incredible community asset to Snohomish County,” said Linda Neunzig, Snohomish County Agricultural Coordinator. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, it became apparent how fragile our food system is. Our food security is linked to the farms in our own backyards, yet the ability for local farmers to process and sell it to local consumers is limited. This facility will fill that gap.”

The Chinook Marsh Restoration Project was submitted by Representative DelBene as part of her Community Project Funding requests to the U.S. House Appropriations Committee. This project will relocate a vital City of Everett drinking water transmission line to reduce flood and seismic hazards and restore approximately 430 acres of tidal habitat benefitting Endangered Species Act listed Chinook Salmon. It will provide additional public benefits by upgrading flood protection for adjacent and nearby residents. This funding will support the cost of construction. The project is currently in the design phase and is targeted to go to construction by 2028, pending further funding. The publicly owned 430-acre property is located between Ebey Slough and Fobes Hill, east of Everett.

“More than a century ago, this area was a forested riverine tidal floodplain that provided habitat for many species. However, 95 percent of the historic estuary habitat has been lost,” said Gregg Farris, Director of Snohomish County Surface Water Management. “When completed, this project will restore lost habitat and add to the largest estuary restoration effort in the Puget Sound region.”

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