Historically, the lower Snohomish Estuary consisted of a gradient of habitats as determined by soil and water salinity: where the lowest elevations were characterized by mudflats with salt grass and pickleweed; intermediate elevations contained tidal marshes and scrub-shrub wetlands with a variety of grasses, sedges, bulrushes, cattails, willows and roses; and, at the highest elevations, tidally influenced swamp forests were indicated by the prevalence of Sitka spruce and shore pine.
Edge habitat between the marsh and uplands have been planted with native trees and shrubs such as Sitka spruce, Nootka rose, Douglas’ spiraea, and Scouler’s willow in order to accelerate natural recovery.
After river and tidal connection is restored, mudflats, tidal marsh, stream channels and upland riparian forest habitat types have started to re-establish at Qwuloolt. Douglas’s spiraea and Nootka rose have already started to naturally recruit along wave attenuation berms. Wave attenuation berms have been planted with native willows and will have augmentation planting in late fall of 2016.