Northwest Straits Foundation, Island County Marine Resources Committee (MRC),  Washington State Parks, and Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group partnered to restore 1,600 linear feet of shoreline and two acres of beach at Cornet Bay in Deception Pass State Park.

Cornet Bay, offering protected, shallow waters and freshwater inputs adjoining the high-energy currents flowing through Deception Pass, acts like a pocket estuary for salmon fry migrants. The nearshore has been compromised by the use of creosote, fill, and shoreline armoring that have impacted eelgrass meadows, forage fish spawning habitat, salmonid habitat, and sediment accretion zones due to interruptions of drift cell processes.

This multi-phase project includes the removal of creosoted bulkheads and fill stretching the length of the shoreline. The beach has been re-graded to match the natural contour and significant riparian plantings have been installed. This work will restore the natural beach structure and enhance forage fish spawning habitat.

Island County Beach Watchers and Sound Water Stewards have been monitoring this site for nearshore fish use and forage fish spawning since 2010. These volunteers continue to conduct post-project monitoring to evaluate the changes in habitat resulting from the restoration. Click here for more information about monitoring at Cornet Bay and other Island County MRC projects.

Project funding and support has been provided by the Puget Sound Partnership’s Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration Fund, the Salmon Recovery Funding Board, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Washington Department of Natural Resources, Northwest Straits Commission, US EPA, Whidbey Island Conservation District, and the Alcoa Foundation.

Contact the Foundation for information on becoming a steward at Cornet Bay. Click here for the Cornet Bay Restoration Fact Sheet.