The Northwest Straits Foundation, Island County Marine Resources Committee, and Naval Air Station Whidbey are partners in an effort to remove shoreline armor from the base of the feeder bluff located between Maylor Point and Forbes Point in Oak Harbor. This project is funded with grants from the National Estuary Program through the Habitat Strategic Initiative as well as the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Puget Sound Coastal Program and Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board.
The project was identified through an assessment of opportunities to restore feeder bluff processes and functions in Island and Jefferson counties funded by the Estuary Salmon Restoration Program. Work on the project also continued with funding through the Marine and Nearshore Grant Program (EPA/WDFW/DNR).
In 1978, the US Army Corps installed a variety of hard armor as a ‘Low Cost Shore Protection’ experiment along a feeder bluff on Whidbey Island. Most of this armoring failed in a storm in 1979; only timber posts and tires remain. These, along with concrete and other debris, interrupt the transport of natural sediment and cover valuable habitat along 1,500 ft of shoreline.
This project will restore feeder bluff processes and uncover 38,000 ft² of buried shoreline habitat by removing:
- 1,300 tires, 185 chemically-treated timber posts and 165 treated planks
- 5,600 concrete ‘pillows’
- 1,100 CY of large armor stone and boulders
- 225 CY of small angular rock
Link here for more facts and details about the project.
Construction began in late September 2018 and was completed October 15, 2018. Neptune Marine of Anacortes provided construction services, utilizing a landing craft to transport equipment and materials. Project design was provided by Coastal Geologic Services.
Monitoring of the site for biological and physical changes will continue through 2019 by WDFW and citizen-science volunteers. Forage fish spawning surveys will be conducted by US Navy personnel.