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Brief Summary of Jetty Island History

2 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2012  

Thomas Murphy

Edmonds Community College - Learn and Serve Environmental Anthropology Field (LEAF) School

Date Written: May 6, 2008


More than 50,000 people annually come to a two-mile long, man-made island in Everett, Washington to relax on sandy beaches, wade in warm and shallow water, join guided nature hikes, watch wildlife, kayak around the perimeter and kite board with steady afternoon winds. Jetty Island is recognized today as one of Snohomish County’s top recreational and wildlife resources but if the founders of Everett had achieved their goals then the riprap jetty would have more closely resembled Seattle’s Harbor Island. Today’s Jetty Island is not only a top tourist destination but also a wildlife conservation area. Its sandy beaches, mud flat and salt water marshes provide important habitat not as readily available elsewhere in Snohomish River delta. It supports an abundance of wildlife, including bald eagles, Chinook salmon, osprey, bull trout, and blue heron. In fact, observers have identified 115 species of birds in the vicinity of the island. Everett’s treasured island may not have realized the potential envisioned by city founders but it stands in sharp contrast to Seattle’s Harbor Island, an industrialized and toxic Superfund site.

Keywords: Everett, Washington, Jetty Island, Environmental Anthropology, Snohomish, Island, Ecology, Harbor Island, Conservation, Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island, Kiwanis

JEL Classification: O14, Q25, Q26, Z10

Suggested Citation

Murphy, Thomas, Brief Summary of Jetty Island History (May 6, 2008). Available at SSRN: or

Thomas Murphy (Contact Author)

Edmonds Community College - Learn and Serve Environmental Anthropology Field (LEAF) School ( email )

20000 68th Ave W
Lynnwood, WA 98036
United States
425-640-1076 (Phone)
425-771-3366 (Fax)


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