Bowman Bay Nearshore Restoration

Project Period: 2013 - Present

Background:  Bowman Bay is a pocket beach located in the Whidbey Basin at Deception Pass State Park. 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 was impeding sediment transport processes at the site resulting in the coarsening of beach sediment and degredation of nearshore habitat. 

Bowman Bay _1


 Project Description: The Skagit County Marine Resources Committee partnered 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 from the Bowman Bay shoreline. Construction was completed in November 2015. This project helped 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 also allows for lateral shifts in seagrass beds in response to sea level rise. In addition to the ecological benefits, removing this armoring improved access to the beach for kayakers and other park visitors. 

Trained volunteers conducted pre-construction monitoring to collect baseline data and will continue to collect post-construction monitoring after construction for at least five years to assess habitat changes. The data collected will be posted online in Sound IQ.

The Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group (SFEG) developed and implemented the riparian planting plan of the upper beach area and coordinated several volunteer planting parties in partnership with the MRC and the NWSF.

If you are interested in becoming a steward of the Bowman Bay Restoration site and would like to help with planting and plant maintenance, contact Tracy Alker, Skagit MRC Coordinator, 

Two interpretive signs were installed in the fall of 2016 to help educate the public about the value of nearshore habitat and benefits of removing hard shoreline armoring.  The signs were unveiled during the Bowman Bay Celebration in November 2016. 





2019 Bowman Bay Plant Maintenance Parties will be held Fridays, 10am-1pm on the following dates:

  • May 17
  • June 21st
  • July 12th
  • August 16th
  • September 20th 

 Contact for more information about the plant maintenance work parties.


This poject was funded in part by the Puget Sound Partnership and the Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program with federal funding originating from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.



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