You ‘Otter’ Help Clean Up Miller Creek Saturday, April 11th

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Miller/Walker Basin Steward Denni Clark recently spotted a wild otter in Miller Creek, and here’s his report, along with an invitation that you “otter” help clean it up this coming Saturday, April 11th starting at 9am:

Burien and SeaTac just keeping getting wilder.

On April 2nd I observed an otter climbing over a weir (a small dam) in Miller Creek just upstream of the SeaTac/Burien city boundary along Des Moines Memorial Drive.

After climbing over the dam, the otter continued swimming upstream on SeaTac Airport property. The scofflaw otter paid no heed to the “no trespassing” signs. While the otter’s destination is unknown, it may be on a quest to see the mythical 20-foot tall image of an otter known to appear over SeaTac (“Hector the Sea Otter” on the tail of a Frontier Airlines plane).

River otters long have been observed in the lower portions of Miller Creek in Normandy Park but not this far upstream in some time. Presumably the otter made its way upstream from Normandy Park through the culvert underneath First Ave. South, through Burien, and then through the long culvert underneath SR509/Des Moines Memorial Drive.

You might catch of glimpse of the otter if you volunteer for the April 11th Miller Creek Appreciation Day stewardship project and stream tour. The tour will include the section of the stream where the otter was seen.

It’s a great local way to celebrate Earth Month – work on and go on a rare tour of your local stream!

On April 11th, beginning at 9 a.m., help our on-going efforts to restore Miller Creek. Volunteers will remove invasive plants and put mulch around native trees and shrubs along Miller Creek at the S. 144th St. site in Burien. Normandy Park councilmembers and residents have been working to restore the stream here since October 2007 and it shows great improvement. At 11 a.m., immediately following the restoration project, participants will go on a tour of the creek where it has been reconstructed on the grounds of SeaTac Airport. This is a rare opportunity to both serve and learn about the stream upstream of Normandy Park — don’t miss it!

For more details, download a PDF flyer here, or contact Basin Steward Dennis Clark at 206-296-1909.

At 11 a.m., immediately following the restoration project, participants will go on a tour of Miller Creek downstream where it has been reconstructed on the grounds of SeaTac Airport. You will see parts of the stream not normally accessible to the public. Port of Seattle biologist Josh Feigin will be our guide.

A short drive will be necessary to go from the restoration site to the tour location. If you need a ride, please contact me.

Details and maps are in the Miller Creek Appreciation Day flier (attached; also available at the website).

Please RSVP so we can plan accordingly and to guarantee your doughnut!

Dennis Clark
Miller/Walker Creek Basin Steward
206-296-1909 additional contact information

WHAT: Miller Creek Appreciation Day stewardship project and stream tour

WHEN:  9am – 11am Stewardship Project; 11am – 12:30pm Tour

WHERE: 9am Restoration: South 144th St., one block west of Des Moines Memorial Drive (northeast Burien just north of SR 518 and east of SR 509)

11am Tour: From the restoration location, go south down Des Moines Memorial Drive.  After passing under SR 509, turn left on S. 168th St. After again passing under SR 509, turn left at the first (unmarked) intersection.

INFO: What do you need?

  • An eager attitude
  • Sturdy shoes or boots
  • Water bottle
  • Gloves (if you have them)

We provide gloves, tools, and snacks!

This project is a cooperative effort of the Cities of Burien, Normandy Park, and SeaTac; the Port of Seattle; and King County.  These
governments are working with residents to improve water quality and create healthy streams in the Miller and Walker Creek basins.
Advance sign-up is encouraged to help us plan.

RSVP: For sign up and questions, contact:

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