Low Tide on the Beaches

CGS staff were out collecting data last week at the lowest daytime summer tides.
Field crews and project leads were getting new projects going at the USGS Marine Station on Marrowstone Island (pictured), along a Whidbey Island bluff edge road, at the Birch Bay berm, and at several residential parcels around the region.
We also kicked off a new phase of design work at two of Bellingham’s existing and future waterfront parks.

Soft Shore Protection in Skagit County

In 2019, CGS completed the design of this soft shore protection project for at a low-elevation, high wave energy site on Fidalgo Island. The design is intended to mitigate flood risk under for future conditions of sea level rise.

Left: Before | Right: After (Images: CGS)

CGS is providing oversight of project construction, which includes the installation of large buried wood and a gravel berm (completed) and planting of native backshore vegetation (coming soon!).

Birch Bay Beach Nourishment

Birch Bay work crews applying nourishment sediment, image courtesy CGS.

1.6 miles of Birch Bay beach nourishment has begun! On the ground construction started in early January for what is thought to be the largest beach nourishment project in the greater Puget Sound region (210,000 tons)!

This extensive beach nourishment endeavor is intended to create a broad beach backshore and walking trail. The project was first conceived in 1975 by Wolf Bauer. Jim Johannessen of CGS has worked on several stages of this project over the course of its history. CGS was a key beach designer for the consultant team, working for Whatcom County Public Works.

Work is occurring at the south end of the project most evenings through February 15 and will start again after Labor Day continuing northward.

Bellingham’s Waypoint Park Beach Makes Headlines

Waypoint Park beach, Bellingham, Washington. Photo courtesy of the Port of Bellingham.

Bellingham’s Waypoint Park beach made headlines on May 20th! The site cleanup and beach creation at Waypoint joins three others as winner of “America’s Best Restored Beach”, an award given each year by the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association. Waypoint Park is one of two CGS projects to win this award: the Port of Bellingham’s Marine Park won the title in 2009.

The other 2019 winners are:

  • Caminada Headland, Louisiana
  • South Padre Island, Texas
  • Duval County, Florida

Congratulations to the project teams who restored these beaches!

Read the Bellingham Herald announcement here.

And the original ASBPA announcement with information on all the projects here.

Sunlight Shores Community Beach Restored

Happy New Year! This year we resolve to complete more shore armor removal projects like this one: Sunlight Shores community beach on Whidbey Island was once a bank lined with creosote treated wood piles, large angular boulders, debris, and fill. Now it is a beautiful, resilient beach with restored salt marsh habitat, new native plantings, and improved community beach access. To view a time lapse of the armor removal and beach restoration process, click on the video below or follow this link.

Here is the project in numbers:

  • 350 linear feet of shoreline restored
  • 72 cubic yards of toxic, creosote-treated wood piles removed
  • 355 cubic yards of boulders and debris removed
  • 5,250 square feet of upper beach including salt marsh habitat restored
  • 4 large logs, root wads, and other on-site logs installed for added protection

This was a project by the Northwest Straits Foundation with a grant from the Salmon Funding Recovery Board. CGS completed site assessments, meetings with landowners, site mapping, permit and final design drawings and assisted the NWSF with construction oversight. Here’s to more exciting restoration projects in the new year!