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October 13th, 2015
Bowman Bay beach restoration to begin
Deception Pass Park Manager Jack Hartt reports that a beach restoration project at Bowman Bay will begin late this month, resulting in a temporary shutdown of this corner of the park. According to the Skagit Marine Resources Committee (MRC), hard shoreline armoring was placed along the shoreline prior to the 1970s to protect a fish hatchery that operated at the site. The hatchery has since been dismantled. “The riprap is currently impeding sediment transport processes at the site resulting in the coarsening of beach sediment and degredation of nearshore habitat,” reports MRC. “The Skagit County Marine Resources Committee is partnering with the Northwest Straits Commission, Northwest Straits Foundation, Skagit Conservation District, and Washington State Parks to remove approximately 540 feet (1,600 tons) of armoring. The Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group will develop and implement the riparian planting plan of the upper beach area. Interpretive signage and other educational opportunities will also be provided to help educate the public about the value of nearshore habitat and benefits of removing hard shoreline armoring. This project will help restore natural sediment transport processes and improve approximately 0.6 acres of nearshore habitat for forage fish, juvenile salmon and bull trout. The restored resilience to the ecosystem will also allow for lateral shifts in sea grass beds in response to sea level rise. In addition to the ecological benefits, removing this armoring will improve access to the beach for kayakers and other park visitors.”
A fourth generation Skagit County native who was moved kicking and screaming from this island community in 1960. I finally reclaimed an Anacortes address in 1980, and I have been in constant celebration of my return since that time. Many of us who call Anacortes home love Fidalgo Island for its natural assets: among them are rugged beaches, pristine lakes, thousands of acres of forestland and some awesome views of the Skagit Valley and surrounding islands. Another element of my love affair with this community is its people, both natives and immigrants. They will “star” in many of my journal entries.
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