Background: Marine View Drive Property
The Port of Tacoma bought 17 acres of Commencement Bay shoreline along Marine View Drive for future habitat mitigation and restoration. Long-term plans call eventually for restoring the beach and tidelands, returning critical Puget Sound habitat for vegetation, fish, birds and other wildlife, and providing public access for the community to view and enjoy it.
The Port purchased the $2.85 million property in December 2005. It received a NOAA conservation grant in June 2006 to cover half the cost. The grant commits the Port to restore habitat when the current month-to-month rental agreements are phased out over time and tenants move or die, and to create public access.
Most of the restoration is slated for the future, when Port development plans call for mitigation. The Port, however, is restoring portions of the bluff, adding public access and a kayak launch now that should be completed by spring 2011.
The property holds 10 waterfront houses, most of which are owned privately by the individuals who live in them. The tenants who rent the waterfront property beneath the houses were informed in May 2008 that, as owners vacate them, the houses would be demolished to make way for marine, marsh and upland habitat. The Port, however, also assured tenants they could remain on the property as long as they comply with the terms of the existing agreements and their houses remain habitable.
One unoccupied home, which was damaged severely in a December 2006 storm, was demolished in fall 2009.