The Tulalip Tribes along with its partners at the NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center, United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the City of Marysville have been monitoring biological, physical, and chemical conditions at the site prior to restoration and after restoration to measure the changes in the types of animals, erosion and deposition of sediment, tidal water flow, and water chemistry. The purpose of monitoring the Qwuloolt restoration is to evaluate the effects of the restoration effort, provide information on how juvenile salmon are utilizing the site, and to monitor how the recovery process evolves over time.
The Qwuloolt Estuary restoration project was completed in the summer of 2015 allowing tidal waters to return to the site for the first time in a hundred years. The purpose of the Qwuloolt restoration project is to return the site to its natural condition to help in the recovery of endangered Chinook salmon and other salmon species, wildlife, and plants that rely on this unique environment to flourish.
The forested wetland that once existed at the Qwuloolt site, and which can be observed south of the site at Heron Point, was cleared, diked, and converted to farm land a hundred years ago. Over the hundred years that the Qwuloolt site was isolated from the tidal waters of the Snohomish estuary it has been severely altered from what it was originally, a forested wetland. The ground at the site is substantially lower than it once was. The trees and vegetation that were original at the site are gone. Before restoration Qwuloolt was dominated by invasive Himalayan blackberry and reed canary grass. The reintroduction of tidal waters is the first step in the recovery of the estuary. But it will take many decades for the site to return to what it was before it was diked.