Port of Anacortes Environmental Remediation

A comprehensive environmental cleanup and redevelopment plan restored once-polluted waterfront.

The community of Anacortes, Washington is located on Fidalgo Island in north Puget Sound, about 65 miles from Seattle. The Port of Anacortes currently owns multiple properties along Fidalgo Bay and the Guemes Channel that were historically used for industrial purposes that left behind toxic pollutants in the upland areas and shoreline sediments.

In late 2005, Washington’s Governor Christine Gregoire and the state legislature created the Puget Sound Initiative to clean up, preserve and restore the ailing Puget Sound by 2020. GeoEngineers recognized that that the State’s initiative offered potential Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) funding that could expedite the Port’s clean-up and redevelopment efforts. With the potential funding stream in place, GeoEngineers recommended that the Port develop and implement a comprehensive cleanup strategy that would address their contaminated sites.

The Port’s targeted sites include a boatyard and marine fueling facility, a former bulk fuel storage facility, a former log haul out facility, a former lumber and paper mill and an operating shipyard facility. In response to GeoEngineers’ recommendations, the Port engaged our strategy team to work collaboratively with the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) to develop its “Focus Fidalgo” environmental stewardship program, a comprehensive environmental framework that the Port utilizes to coordinate the expedited clean-up efforts on Port properties—in partnership with Ecology.

GeoEngineers is providing a full suite of services to the Port of Anacortes as part of their comprehensive cleanup program, including strategic planning, site investigation, cost modeling and clean-up design, construction management and expert witness. To date, projects have been completed for two Port upland and marine sites—Cap Sante Marine and the former Scott Paper Mill site—and is underway the former Shell oil tank farm, Dakota Creek Industries and a former log haul-out.

GeoEngineers has been instrumental in the success of Focus Fidalgo by working in partnership with the Port and the regulatory agencies to integrate remediation, habitat restoration, redevelopment and public access improvements into a single well-planned and coordinated effort that is bringing economic benefits and an improved quality of life to the community of Anacortes.


As the primary technical and strategic advisor to the Port, GeoEngineers’ first priority was to help the Port leverage Puget Sound Initiative cleanup grant funding available from Ecology to set the Focus Fidalgo projects in motion.

Such comprehensive programs typically take 10 to 15 years to complete, but Ecology’s Puget Sound Initiative funding allowed for dedicated regulatory staff and grant funding. GeoEngineers developed an expedited schedule and streamlined approval process, made feasible by our longstanding working relationship with state regulators and in-depth experience in strategic planning and completing large environmental remediation projects.

GeoEngineers also provided cost-recovery assistance essential to the Port-wide cleanup and delivered expert technical support for numerous mediation settlements between and among the former property owners and potentially responsible parties.


  • GeoEngineers project teams kept the Port of Anacortes projects on schedule and on budget by running 24 hours a day, seven days a week when necessary. It is our team’s objective to be responsive and make the Port’s needs our highest priority.
  • Contractors removed more than 150,000 tons of contaminated sediment and soils from the Cap Sante Marine and former Scott Paper Mill sites, combined.
  • The remediation at the Cap Sante Marine site was the first major project completed under Focus Fidalgo and provided a model for future cleanup projects throughout the Puget Sound.
  • The former Scott Paper Mill Cleanup is one of the largest shoreline and sediment cleanups completed in Washington by under MTCA.
  • The Port successfully recovered a significant portion of its project costs while maintaining its desired land uses and redevelopment plans.
  • The revitalized waterfront—with a newly-improved park, new marina and restaurant—deliver environmental, recreational and economic benefits to the Anacortes community.

In mid-2011 GeoEngineers staff members joined the Port in celebrating the re-opening of the Seafarers’ Memorial Park and the completion of the former Scott Paper Mill clean-up project. The Port praised GeoEngineers staff for their work and credited GeoEngineers Principal John Herzog for his vision that helped shape the overall site plan and was central to the Port’s revitalization.

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