Access Regulations

Entry to wetlands

Wetlands Access Regulations

The guidelines below are intended to ensure your safety and control disturbance to the natural features of the wetlands. Please review these rules carefully and fully share them with your students / visitors. Failure to follow these regulations will result in your immediate removal from the wetlands and revocation of your permit. Note that this set of rules pertains to observational study only – if you wish to conduct an experimental investigation and collect data you must apply for a Wetlands Research Permit. Depending on the nature of the research there may be additional regulations you need to abide by. If you have any questions contact Facility Services at 425-352-5466.

Here is a printable version of the regulations below. Also, be sure to check out our Wetlands Safety Video below! 

If you have a permit to go off of the boardwalk and paved trails:

If you have gone off of the boardwalk and paved trails during your visit:

  1. Guidelines to consider prior to visiting the wetlands

    • No access is allowed off of the boardwalk and paved trails without a Wetlands Exploration Permit or a Wetlands Research Permit.
    • If you have a permit to go off of established trails, access is only allowed to areas specified in your access approval. You should carry a copy of your approval email at all times when in the Wetlands and be prepared to show it to campus staff upon request.
    • Groups of more than 10 need a Wetlands Observation Permit even if you are staying on the boardwalk and paved trails. In all cases, group sizes must be kept to a manageable level and at no time shall exceed 25 people.
    • Each individual will take responsibility for his or her own safety and accepts the risks inherent with touring and accessing this area. The University of Washington, Cascadia Community College, and their employees are not legally responsible for an accident or injury while on this site.
    • Do not go out into the Wetlands alone or at night unless specifically approved.
    • No sampling devices, stakes, flags, etc. shall be left in the Wetlands. Studies that collect data (as opposed to observational tours) require a Wetlands Research Permit.
    • No destructive sampling is allowed. This includes no removal (collection) of seeds, flowers, other plant parts or any other biological, soil, or aquatic material. Nondestructive observations are allowed, but if quantitative data is to be collected a Wetlands Research Permit is required.
    • Do not use or introduce chemicals in the Wetlands without specific permission.
    • Pets must be kept on leash on the boardwalk and paved trails. Do not allow pets off of these trail and into the Wetlands.
    • No motorized vehicles of any kind are allowed on the boardwalk or paved trails. Other human-powered wheeled vehicles (bicycles, strollers, etc.) are allowed on the boardwalk and paved trails but not further into the Wetlands.
    • Do not tamper with the irrigation system, floodplain wells, polygon markers or survey stakes.
    • If you are going off of the main trails into the Wetlands, your footwear must be clean and free of visible debris before entering the Wetlands (to help prevent the spread of unwanted invasive species).
  2. Conduct in the wetland

    • Do not harass or harm the wildlife. This includes no fishing, hunting and unpermitted access. This also includes not deliberately approaching wildlife and keeping noise to a minimum. Do not alter or damage habitat structures (such as nests, beaver structures, etc.).
    • We advise you to carry a cell phone with you for emergencies (call 911 and / or Campus Safety at 425-352-5222). Do not approach suspicious persons – report them to Campus Safety.
    • No smoking is allowed in the Wetlands
    • Do not trample the vegetation. 
    • Stay out of the stream (North Creek) unless your permit specifically allows that. During times of salmon runs you should also remain at least 10 feet back from the stream bank unless your permit specifically allows it.
    • Do not introduce soil, plants, animals, or other biological material into the Wetlands.
    • There are no formal trails on the floodplain. Walk carefully as the terrain is rough and there are sinkholes in the floodplain. Protect your eyes when walking, especially in groups as branches can snap back at you from individuals walking ahead.
    • For your health and safety be sure to observe these specific rules as well:
      • No eating is allowed in the Wetlands
      • Wear only closed-toe shoes – preferably footwear that can be easily cleaned / washed (rubber boots are preferred).
      • Wear long pants and long sleeves (shirt or jacket) at all times.
      • If your permit includes the area of the active crow roost you are required to wear gloves at all times (your permit will address that specifically).
      • Do not touch vegetation or soils that are contaminated with bird feces. Prevent skin contact with water in floodplain depressions (ponds).
  3. After you finish your visit

    • You must thoroughly wash your hands after leaving the Wetlands.
    • You should thoroughly wash and scrub your boots after leaving the Wetlands (there is a boot wash outside of the Sarah Simonds Green Conservatory).

Wetlands Safety Video