My complements to Steve Wyatt for his beautiful pictures of the current condition of Sequalitchew Creek and Edmund Marsh.
The future of Sequalitchew Creek should Glacier Northwest be granted a permit to dewater the Vashon aquifer is depicted in the two photographs (above and below) of the current condition of Murray Creek (aka Upper Sequalitchew Creek) that flows into American Lake. Until 1994 Murray Creek was a perennial stream that provided migration, spawning and rearing habitat for native cutthroat trout and resident American Lake kokanee salmon. It is no more.
The reason for the drying of the lower reach of Murray Creek is described in a 1996 study done by Shapiro and Associates, Inc as follows: “Drawdown in the Surface Aquifer resulting from pumping wells for the cooling system at Madigan Army Medical Center is a dominant factor in lowering groundwater levels below the mixed and losing reaches of the creek…” . The study is titled: An Assessment of Murray Creek in Pierce County, Washington. It was prepared for the U.S. Army, Fort Lewis Public Works.
The same drying effect will manifest itself in Sequalitchew Creek as a result of the drawdown (dewatering) of the Vashon aquifer if the citizens of DuPont, the DuPont City Council, DOE and DNR acquiesce to Glacier Northwest’s demand that it be permitted to dewater the Vashon aquifer so it can work the mine under dry conditions and increase their take of aggregate from both their existing and expanded DuPont gravel mining operation.