(The Center Square) – The Port of Seattle has established an “Environmental Legacy Fund” that will utilize collected property tax dollars for environmental initiatives.

An initial $30 million is being placed into the fund with additional increments recommended through an annual budget process.

The Environmental Legacy Fund will specifically send funds toward research, investigation, design and cleanup actions. These actions are expected to cost more than $100 million over the next decade. The port notes that some of the costs may be covered by polluters and responsible parties, state grants and insurance.

The Port of Seattle receives 1.2% of collected property taxes from King County homeowners. In 2023, the median King County homeowner paid approximately $80 to the Port in a property tax levy.

Property tax dollars to the port are also used for maritime capital projects including Northwest Seaport Alliance container terminal improvements in Seattle, as well as economic, workforce development and environmental programs.

Port of Seattle Commissioner Ryan Calkins said the Environmental Legacy Fund offers taxpayers predictability and stability by dedicating resources solely towards environmental actions.

The Port of Seattle’s 2024 operating budget includes $20.1 million in expenditures for environmental stewardship.

“Careful stewardship and planning made it possible for the port to maintain its operations and help lead the recovery despite economic upheaval and uncertainty,” Port of Seattle Executive Director Stephen Metruck said in a statement. “Applying those lessons to our cleanup work protects critical resources needed for remediation, while staying true to our role as an environmental and financial steward.”

One of the port’s latest projects is the habitat restoration of Terminal 25 South. The goal of the project is to restore and recreate riparian habitat and off-channel refuge habitat for salmonids and other migratory and resident fish and wildlife in the East Waterway.

The project is estimated to cost $10 million in total.