The area surrounding the existing trestle presents many challenges. The structure crosses fish-bearing streams, floodplains, and wetlands. There may also be cultural resources that will require consultation with local Native American tribes and other agencies.
There are fish in the streams and rivers near the US 2 trestle. On Ebey Island, streams and irrigation channels serve as homes for Chinook salmon, chum salmon, coho salmon, pink salmon, bull trout, cutthroat and steelhead trout. In addition, the Snohomish River also has populations of largemouth bass, and sockeye salmon are found in Ebey Slough.
Directly under the trestle is Ebey Island. The entire island is a floodplain. Areas of that are considered a floodway. A floodway is the channel of a river or stream and the land next to it that must remain free from obstruction so that a 100-year flood can be carried downstream.
Dozens of wetlands that surround the US 2 trestle must be protected from highway storm runoff during construction. These wetlands consist mostly of swampy or marshy areas with rooted plants and grasses such as cattails, reeds and ferns. Other areas are dominated by woody vegetation from ground level to more than 20 feet tall. The plants found in these areas include willows, alder, white pine, mature red maple and elm trees.