Benefits of Bulkhead Removal

Shoreline bulkheads, seawalls and other types of armor are significant stressors on the Puget Sound nearshore ecosystem. Shoreline armor changes composition of beaches and coastal habitats, alters coastal ecology, and reduces the resilience of the coast to rising sea levels. Approximately 27% of the region’s shoreline and 48% of residential shoreline parcels is modified with some type of armor. Reducing shoreline armoring is vital to restoring the health of the Northwest Straits ecosystem.

Bulkhead removal can include full removal of all structures with no replacement. It can also include replacement with natural features such as large woody debris and added sediment.

Here are some of the many benefits of shoreline armor (bulkhead) removal:

  • Easier access to the beach. You no longer have to climb over unstable riprap or jump off a wall to get to the beach.

  • More beach will be available at higher tides.

  • Natural shorelines enhance the beauty of your property.

  • In areas of low erosion, natural or softer shorelines provide protection. Drift logs, sand, and gravel create buffers to wave action while providing habitat.

  • Forage fish (surf smelt and sand land) spawn in the upper tidal zones where bulkheads are usually placed.

  • Adding vegetation after bulkhead removal helps stabilize sediment and provides food and nutrients to marine and upland critters.

  • Bulkheads are costly to maintain.

  • Your neighbors will be envious of your beautiful shoreline and will want to do the same!



Download this flyer about soft shore protection here: Soft shore protection information


Posted on

March 2, 2016