OLYMPIA – Nov. 10, 2016 – The Northwest Straits Foundation, Skagit County Marine Resources Committee (MRC) and the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission invite the public to celebrate the completion of a two-year nearshore restoration project at Bowman Bay in Deception Pass State Park.
The free event is from 2:30 to 4 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Bowman Bay day-use area of Deception Pass State Park, Oak Harbor. (Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/q5LLiLGjEf22). Distinguished guests will join members and staff of the three organizations and volunteers who worked on the project.
The project restored important habitat along the beach at Bowman Bay, an important spawning ground for forage fish, such surf smelt. These fish are critical to bull trout and juvenile salmon.
In 1947, the Washington Department of Fisheries installed shoreline armoring—or bulkheads—in the form of large boulders to protect a fish hatchery and marine biology station. Bulkheads are known to interfere with the natural processes—such as erosion and sediment transport—that sustain habitat for forage fish and other species.
The restoration project involved removing the armoring and replanting the area with natural vegetation.
- Project design began in 2013 and was completed in 2015
- More than 500 linear feet of rock “armoring” was removed
- Bowman Bay beach was regraded to match the natural contour of the pre-armored beach
- 1,080 tons of beach nourishment material—a sand and gravel mix ideal for fish spawning—was added to make the beach more suitable for forage fish spawning
- Enhancing the beach with riparian vegetation
- Cost: $226,350
- Funding for the project comes from the Puget Sound Nearshore Grant Program, Estuary Salmon Restoration Program, Northwest Straits Commission, Skagit MRC, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Puget Sound Partnership and the ALCOA Foundation
One year after construction, the beach is finding its shape. Wood and beach materials are accumulating at the site, providing structure to the shoreline and food for fish and birds. The vegetation is growing, and park visitors can now more easily access the water.
Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group and volunteers continue to plant riparian vegetation and monitor the area to ensure a healthy connection between the marine waters and upland habitats.
Funding for this celebration event is provided by the Washington departments of Fish and Wildlife and Natural Resources and US Environmental Protection Agency.
For more information about the project, visit: http://www.nwstraitsfoundation.org/project/bowman-bay-shore-armor-removal/
For more information about the celebration, contact Heidi Lehman, (360) 733-1725 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Northwest Straits Foundation
The Northwest Straits Foundation is the non-profit partner of the Northwest Straits Initiative, a collaborative model for marine conservation with a vision of diverse communities working together to restore a thriving marine ecosystem in the Northwest Straits of the Salish Sea. The Foundation works in partnership with the Northwest Straits Commission and seven local Marine Resources Committees (MRCs) of the Northwest Straits whose members represent the diverse stakeholders of their communities, and who identify and implement local marine conservation and restoration projects in their communities. For more information, visit: http://www.nwstraitsfoundation.org/
About the Skagit Marine Resources Committee
The Skagit Marine Resources Committee’s purpose is to act as a catalyst for the protection and restoration of the marine waters, habitats and species of Skagit County to achieve ecosystem health and sustainable resource use. To that end, the Skagit MRC combines sound science and a citizen-based approach to protecting and restoring the marine resources of the Northwest Straits. For more information, visit: http://www.skagitmrc.org/
About Washington State Parks
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.
Follow Washington State Parks:
Share your favorite state park adventure on the State Parks’ blog site at www.AdventureAwaits.com.
Support state parks by purchasing your annual Discover Pass today, and enjoy a whole year of outdoor fun on Washington’s beautiful state-managed recreation lands. For more information, visit www.discoverpass.wa.gov.
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