It's a terrific idea. I wonder if the $1 billion number figure for a new Elliott Bay seawall already includes restoring the Elliott Bay shoreline. Or is this superb but apparently new element of the program just a budget-buster?
Redesign the shoreline, using an innovative design for the seawall, to recreate beaches and shallow water areas, so the Sound's diverse creatures can find their niches in the bay. Imagine peering over a downtown railing to see Puget Sound's amazing seastars, octopi, birds and anemones.The appeal of habitat restoration in motivating voters could be politically significant in getting the money ---
(You know the old story about the great architect who visits the graduating class at his old school? And when asked to offer some words of advice to young architects embarking on their career says simply:
"get the job."So too with politicians.)
--- and one has to wonder if it is introduced to create another constituency for the Elliott Bay mega-project. And from a strictly scientific "triage" approach, is Elliott Bay the best place to start on Puget Sound habitat restoration? i.e. are there other estuaries which are not nearly as degraded and where the money could go a lot further, and thus have a greater impact on Puget Sound as a whole? This essentially scientific question should be part of the debate. But probably won't be.
Nonetheless, the idea of large scale habitat restoration is one whose time is overdue. Interested in the subject? Read Nigel Calder's brilliant Environment Game.(1967 and out-of-print but worth tracking-down.)