Access Regulations

Entry to wetlands

Wetland Access Regulations

The guidelines below are intended to ensure your safety and control disturbance to the natural features of the wetland. 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 wetland 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 Wetland 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 Facilities Services at 425-352-5466.

  1. Guidelines to consider prior to visiting the wetland

    • No access is allowed off of the boardwalk and paved trails without a Wetland Exploration Permit or a Wetland 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 wetland and be prepared to show it to campus staff upon request.
    • 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 College, and their employees are not legally responsible for an accident or injury while on this site.
    • Do not go out into the wetland alone or at night unless specifically approved.
    • No sampling devices, stakes, flags, etc. shall be left in the wetland. Studies that collect data (as opposed to observational tours) require a Wetland 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 Wetland Research Permit is required.
    • Do not use or introduce chemicals in the wetland 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 wetland.
    • 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 wetland.
    • 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 wetland, your footwear must be clean and free of visible debris before entering the wetland (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 wetland.
    • Do not trample the vegetation.
    • Stay out of 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 wetland.
    • 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:
      • Do not touch vegetation or soils that are contaminated with bird feces. Prevent skin contact with water in floodplain depressions (ponds).
      • 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).
      • Wear long pants and long sleeves (shirt or jacket) at all times.
      • Wear only closed-toe shoes – preferably footwear that can be easily cleaned/washed (rubber boots are preferred).
      • No eating is allowed in the wetland.
  3. After you finish your visit

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

Wetland Safety 

There are many safety precautions to consider when visiting the wetland. It is your responsibility to review the Wetland Safety Webpage, watch the Wetland Safety Video, and follow all protocols set forth on this page.