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Jetty Island open for summer
EVERETT - Everett’s unique beachfront is now open through Labor Day.
The two-mile-long Jetty Island opened to the public Friday, July 5 and has a wide sandy beach, wildlife and ample opportunity to relax or play. The island is surrounded by shallow waters warm enough to swim in. Check a tide chart for the best times for beach play.
Park workers lead free nature tours on Jetty Island once a day. To sign up for a tour, just show up. To find tour times, call 425-257-8304 or visit the Jetty Island page on the city’s website at http://www.ci.everett.wa.us/Get_PDF.aspx?pdfID=6993.
The free boat to Jetty Island docks at the 10th Street Boat Launch, which is off West Marine View Drive. There is a $3 fee to park at the boat launch.
Kraig Hansen loves his job as the island’s naturalist. It is his 20th year taking care of the island and leading nature tours.
“There’s some touching, some smelling, some tasting, and you come away with a better sense of nature,” Hansen said.
The “tasting” includes many of the edible plants on the island, including pickleweed, lemongrass and peppergrass that grow in the marshlands.
There will be special programs on sharks and whales this year.
The wait time for the free boat to the jetty often takes a couple hours on sunny days. Hansen encourages Everett residents to make reservations by calling 425-257-8304. His phone was already ringing off the hook last week, he said.
Come prepared as there is no running water, electricity or snack shops on the island.
Alcohol, glass containers and pets are not allowed on the island. Pets are not allowed because they could disturb the wildlife.
The island is open during the daytime. Overnight camping is not allowed, but evening campfires are welcome in the fire pits.
More than 50,000 people visit Jetty Island each year, according to the Port of Everett, which owns the island.
The shipping industry created the jetty in the late 1800s to create a protected harbor and navigation channel. Discarded boats were rammed aground into the jetty at the end of their service, adding to the jetty’s size, Hansen said.
The island grew from soil dredged out of the Snohomish River, and the port adds fill every fall. Nature blossomed on the jetty over time.
“The question I get asked all the time is, ‘how did these things get here?’,” Hansen said. “Nature has amazing ways.”
Some species fail to take root on the island, but in the past 20 years, cottonwood trees are one of the newest inhabitants, Hansen said.
The island is open during the day.
Ferry hours:
• 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday
• 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays
• 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays.
To make ferry reservations, call 425-257-8304.

 

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