Reader view: What I discovered about the Edmonds Marsh

The Edmonds Marsh (File photo by Chris Currie)

I am a 79-year-old lady, recently (within the last five years) transplanted to the Bowl of Edmonds. I was not completely new to Edmonds, having lived right next door in Lynnwood for several decades. But, somehow, I only came to Edmonds for its shops and restaurants.

Once I moved here, I began to take walks and to see what else Edmonds had to offer. I must say, I didn’t immediately stumble across the Edmonds Marsh. It is a little bit tucked away, being in back of Harbor Square and — when I first began walking — a little bit out of my range. My neighbor encouraged me to enlarge the scope of my walks and go see the marsh, which I did. And, it was well worth it.

The marsh is beautiful in all seasons. The walkway takes you along one side of the marsh and includes a boardwalk out into the marsh and several interpretive stations, giving the history of these acres. There is always something to see — a heron or five, or even just a seagull offering an aerial display.

The marsh had my attention, so it didn’t take long for me to discover a local group, the Edmonds Marsh Estuary Advocates (EMEA) — quite a mouthful. They are also known as the Marshians (cute). To understand why they chose the long name that they did, you have to understand the difference between a marsh and an estuary.

A marsh is any bog, swamp or wetland anywhere in the country (or the world, for that matter). An estuary, on the other hand, is specifically “a partially enclosed coastal body of brackish water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea …” So, what we currently have is a marsh. It used to be an estuary and it could be again, with a free-flowing connection to Puget Sound.

That is what EMEA is about. I’ve met other citizens on my walks who have referred to the marsh as a “treasure;” on the EMEA website I discovered a vision and planning to restore and to preserve that treasure for you to explore. And that is what I discovered about the Edmonds Marsh.

Oh, one caveat about getting to the website. If you just Google “edmonds marsh,” you may be taken to the City of Edmonds website, which also has a page on the Edmonds Marsh — fine if you are just looking for visitor information. But to get to EMEA’s site, scroll down the page of Google responses or just bookmark the link here.

— By Lu Loree

Lu Loree lives in Edmonds

  1. Great post! The marsh is one of my favorite walks as well.

    And a belated shout-out to all the young volunteers who cleared so many weeds out and helped water circulation!

  2. Great letter!! I found the Edmonds Marsh clean up group through My Edmonds News last year. Thank you. The work we did last year was very encouraging. Ready to start it again in June!!

  3. The Marsh-Estuary is a treasure and a gift. It must be protected and restored and made a central part a new vision for the waterfront and not just a place tucked away behind Harbor Square. The entire waterfront/beach area from Marina Beach Park to Backett’s Landing needs to be celebrated as an essential part of Edmonds and
    Puget Sound.

  4. Great call about the Marsh vs the Estuary! Currently, the connection to Puget Sound is a long underground pipe that excludes salmon from moving in either direction. There have been various plans to configure or “daylight” a free flowing creek system through Marina Beach Park, allowing open access between Puget Sound and Edmonds Marsh, essentially returning it to its historic estuary…and allowing salmon to migrate into the Marsh where they can spawn in the two creeks. I am imaging the day when Edmonds families and our grandkids can go to the Park in fall and watch coho and other salmon as they splash upstream, and their schools of progeny (smolts) move down to the Sound in the spring. Then Edmonds can rightly claim it is helping the Puget Sound ecosystem. But, it will cost money and a lot of planning and engineering. I hope our City and citizens have the where-with-all to move this along!

  5. Thanks for your article Lu Loree. I have not taken the opportunity to spend more time in the “Marsh”. It is a unique attribute of Edmonds. Beautiful attached photo too! Thank You!!

  6. I don’t begrudge people trying to have a successful company but what are people thinking having an outdoor dog boarding business next to the peaceful marsh sanctuary? At times there are a minimum of 30-40 barking dogs outside only feet from the boardwalk. This not only ruins the opportunity for peaceful reflection for human visitors (especially on the boardwalk) but there is no way this not does interfere with the lives of the wildlife. Of all the places to allow this type of business. Once again, what are people thinking?

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