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.
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 sea grass 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 three years to assess habitat changes. The Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group (SFEG) developed and implemented the riparian planting plan of the upper beach area and hosted several volunteer planting parties.
Interpretive signage will be installed in the fall of 2016 to help educate the public about the value of nearshore habitat and benefits of removing hard shoreline armoring. Stay tuned for more information about the upcoming the ribbon cutting celebration.
CHECK OUT THE NEW BOWMAN BAY RESTORATION VIDEO (Click Here)