New Pump-house in Magnuson Park Provides Water for Scientific Research, Wetlands, Wildlife and Recreation

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The U.S. Geological Survey announced the completion of its new Western Fisheries Research Center pump-house structure in the southeast part of Magnuson Park in Seattle. The pump-house provides water for scientific research, nearby wetlands and associated wildlife and recreation.

SEATTLE –The U.S. Geological Survey announced the completion of its new Western Fisheries Research Center pump-house structure in the southeast part of Magnuson Park in Seattle. The pump-house provides water for scientific research, nearby wetlands and associated wildlife and recreation.

The pump-house brings in water from nearby Lake Washington allowing USGS’ fisheries center to conduct research in its wet lab facilities.

“Thank you to the USGS for their work to improve Magnuson Park for visitors and wildlife through the thoughtful design and construction of the new pump house,” said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. 

In the early 2000s, new regulations, safety concerns and pump wear-and-tear indicated that a new pump-house was needed. USGS worked together with the City of Seattle Parks and Recreation Department, Magnuson Environmental Stewardship Alliance and other interested parties to come up with a plan that would allow the construction of a new pump structure, while improving the park for both wildlife and visitors.

"USGS has been a good neighbor in the past by providing water for wetlands construction, improving wildlife passage and aesthetics, and by helping restore park land adjacent to their WFRC,” said Tom Kelly of MESA.

The coordinated effort involved a design for the new pump-house, which serves a pipeline underground through an easement to USGS, and directing cleaned water from WFRC into the Magnuson Park wetlands. Since the project required removal of some trees and vegetation, USGS also invested in restoration and mitigation efforts. The pump structure needed to be an above-ground structure, so the USGS had local Seattle artist Jeff Jacobson create an environmentally themed mural on its walls and local interpretive designer and illustrator, Denise Dahn, provide educational signage near the structure and associated wetlands.

“This piece has a sort of hyper-wildlife feel, where you celebrate and connect with wildlife,” said Jeff Jacobson, the mural artist. “I may live in downtown Seattle, but I love nature and am happy that people can come to the park, experience this piece, and enjoy nature along the way.”

The wetlands in Magnuson Park—receiving year-round water from the USGS WFRC—provides habitat for a multitude of wildlife species, including waterfowl and other birds, frogs, insects and aquatic invertebrates, and is a wonderful place for wildlife watching and otherwise enjoying nature.

“The USGS conducts cutting-edge fisheries research at this facility, this new pump ensures that vital management information is generated here,” said Jill Rolland, Director of the USGS WFRC.

The USGS WFRC, located on the south side of NE 65th St., is one of 17 ecosystem-focused USGS science centers across the United States, and one of only two USGS science centers that focus exclusively on fisheries science. The WFRC focuses on critical natural resource issues facing the nation and provides impartial science to managers of fish and aquatic resources in the western United States.  

Magnuson Park was once a U.S. Navy airfield and later transferred to the City of Seattle and other state and federal agencies. It is the second largest park in Seattle and is continually transforming to provide a unique combination of enjoyable features and activities including boating, tennis, swimming, walking, sports fields, and nature and wildlife watching in an urban setting.

 

USGS Western Fisheries Research Center Pump House structure
Murals on the USGS Western Fisheries Research Center Pump House structure by Jeff Jacobson. Public domain
Interpretive signage for USGS Western Fisheries Research Center Pump House
Interpretive signage created by Denise Dahn, with murals of USGS Western Fisheries Research Center Pump House created by Jeff Jacobson in background.Public domain
Murals on the USGS Western Fisheries Research Structure Pump House structure by Jeff Jacobson.
Murals on the USGS Western Fisheries Research Structure Pump House structure by Jeff Jacobson. Public domain