Cap Sante Waterfront

...Gets a world-class cleanup

State, port, city, and private partners revitalize the shoreline

Planning for the new millennium, the Port of Anacortes dared to dream BIG. It envisioned a revitalized Cap Sante waterfront as a world-class boating and tourist destination built around a modern marina and waterfront park.

Before renovation could begin, however, pollution from leaking fuel storage tanks and historic mill operations needed to be removed—a job too big for the Port alone.
Stepping in to help was the Washington Department of Ecology, which designated Fidalgo Bay one of seven priority bays in critical need of cleanup. Also on board were the City of Anacortes and former paper mill owner Kimberly-Clark.

Following cleanup, habitat restoration, and shoreline redevelopment, the vision of a worldclass marina and multi-use shoreline park has been realized. The Port of Anacortes is now recognized as an environmental leader in the Pacific Northwest.

A clean, green marina

p2 5 clean green marina

In 1930, dredging the Cap Sante waterway and north basin opened up a sheltered harbor for a growing fleet of fishing boats and transient marine traffic. In 2007, work began to improve on decades of use—and abuse—creating an award-winning boating destination.

Jobs and opportunities

p2 5 jobs and opportunities

Cleanup and construction along the Cap Sante waterfront removed contaminated soils and aging infrastructure. The project provided welcome employment during an economically challenging time and a revitalized waterfront with new opportunities for the future.

A park for the people

p2 5 park for the people. Photo: jon michael

Seafarers' Park once bore the scars of two historic industries—Morrison (lumber) Mill and Scott Paper Mill. Purged of the mills' highly contaminated toxicants and wood debris, the shore now boasts restored aquatic habitat, shoreline access, a small boat launch, and dining and entertainment amenities.

Pollution-loving microbes

Pollution-loving microbes

Bioremediation technology is helping clean a former petroleum distribution site across Q Avenue from Cap Sante Marina. Following removal of contaminated soils, beneficial microbes applied underground continue to break down remaining petroleum products into non-toxic substances.

Information on this Trail Tales website was prepared under funding from the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Public Participation Grant Program. While the information was reviewed for grant consistency and accuracy of project references, this does not necessarily constitute endorsement by the Department.

Learn more about Ecology’s Anacortes Baywide Cleanup

Photo credits: Anacortes History Museum, Washington state Dept. of Ecology, Samish Indian Nation and others, as noted. Illustrations by Linda Feltner.