In 2013, a community member of the Seahorse Siesta Community Association attended a ‘Shore Friendly’ workshop hosted by the Northwest Straits Foundation. Seahorse Siesta is located north of Langley on Whidbey Island. For 7 years, NWSF and the Community Association partnered to raise funds and determine feasibility to remove a large barge and bulkhead from the base of a feeder bluff. The structure extended waterward 98 feet from the toe of the bluff and 136 feet alongshore. Installed in the late 1960’s, placement of the barge along the shoreline created an elevated lawn near the beach for residents of the community. The structure, deteriorating over time, created a safety hazard and was an impediment to shoreline processes and habitats. After being pushed back many times, construction at Seahorse Siesta started October 26th, 2020, and lasted until March 15th, 2021, when NWSF staff and volunteers met to plant 650 native trees and ground cover. After a long day in the dirt, staff agreed it was the best staff meeting ever – especially after a year of not seeing each other in person.
Removal exposed a sandy beach suitable for forage fish spawning and will improve nearshore habitats useful for migrating juvenile salmonids. Volunteers from Island MRC and staff from WDFW completed several years of pre-restoration monitoring for forage fish spawning, beach composition and profiles, large woody debris and beach wrack accumulation. Post-construction monitoring began in April 2021.
Support for this project has been provided by:
Feasibility, design, permitting: The Marine & Nearshore Grant Program through Washington Departments of Fish and Wildlife and Natural Resources with funding from the National Estuary Program (EPA)
Construction & Vegetation Installation: Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife – Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program, Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration Fund, US Fish and Wildlife Service – Puget Sound Coastal Program, Vincent J. Coates Foundation
Monitoring: Habitat Strategic Initiative through Washington Departments of Fish and Wildlife and Natural Resources with funding from the National Estuary Program (EPA), Island County Marine Resources Committee, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife
Engineering & Design completed by Coastal Geologic Services
Construction completed by Quilceda Excavation Inc.
Article written on project: https://www.heraldnet.com/news/small-fish-big-barriers-a-county-confronts-climate-change/