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March 26, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Ebey Estuary: more than just a slough?

The Washington State Commission on Geographic Names is considering a big change to a long 8-mile waterway where the Snohomish River delta meets Puget Sound.

Ebey Slough, a short distance east of the river, would appear on maps as “Ebey Estuary” under this proposal that goes to a public hearing May 18.

Estuary, describing where a river mouth meets saltwater tideflats, is “a more accurate and welcoming name” than a slough, which refers to a swamp, inlet or backwater, say proponents. The city government and Snoqualmie Indian Tribe support the change.

But Richard Blumenthal of Bellevue, who has written about early Puget Sound explorers ,calls it “superfluous” because the waterway has been extensively diked and used by settlers, and it has appeared on government maps as a “slough” since 1909. Col. Isaac Ebey, 1818-57, was an early white settler.

Another high-profile change would rename Soap Lake, which draws tourists to its foamy waters in arid Grant County, “Lake Smokiam.”  It’s opposed by Grant County, but supported by the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. More coverage from the Wenatchee World is here.

Here, from a state news release, is a list of some of the other place names to be reconsidered:

Jordan Ridge – Snohomish County: A proposal to officially designate an unnamed five-mile-long ridge east of the community of Jordan

Reflection Creek – Snohomish County: A proposal to designate an unnamed creek located north of the City of Snohomish.

Sultan Ridge – Snohomish County: A proposal to change the name of Blue Mountain (one of two summits in Snohomish County with that name) to ‘Sultan Ridge’

Wayback Brook – Snohomish County: A proposal to officially designate an unnamed 300-foot- long stream

Bryant Hill – Skagit County: A proposal to change the name of Mount Washington in Skagit County to ‘Bryant Hill’

 Rufus Creek – Whatcom County: A proposal to designate an unnamed 1.2-mile-long tributary of Beaver Creek southeast of Bellingham

Suquamish Harbor – Jefferson County: A proposal by the Suquamish Tribe to change the spelling of Squamish Harbor to ‘Suquamish Harbor’

Comments | More in General news, Government | Topics: Snohomish County

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