Shoreline railroad construction, beginning in the early 1800s, has disrupted natural beach and habitat forming processes, resulting in degraded shorelines or beaches. Extensive loss of mid-upper-beach habitat and a shift in the sediment composition of remaining beach impact both salmon and forage fish habitat. Forage fish need sand and gravel to spawn, and juvenile salmon rely on shallow water areas to avoid predators. The disconnection of riparian areas from the beach and shallow marine waters degrades nearshore food-webs. These changes also reduce the food source for orcas, seals, birds, and other marine organisms.
The Nearshore Beach Restoration Project was developed by Snohomish County and its partners to support theSnohomish River Basin Salmon Conservation Plan
and the federal listing of the Puget Sound Chinook Salmon as a threatened species. The nearshore environment
of the Snohomish River Basin (WRIA 7) has been identified as a high priority for restoration of juvenile salmon and forage fish rearing habitat.
Project Planning and Implementation
The Nearshore Beach Restoration Project began in 2011 with three stakeholder meetings to identify priorities for restoration of the nearshore to improve both salmon and forage fish habitat. A technical assessment was used to evaluate the physical characteristics and biological potential of proposed sites. The conclusion of this stakeholder process generated a list of site and restoration treatment recommendations, which included restoration at Howarth Park and the three beach nourishment sites.
A public information meeting was held on April 24th,2014 and 43 local residents attended to learn about the project. Kathleen Herrmann, MRC lead staff, provided an overview of the project and was joined by Dave Lucas, project engineer, to answer questions from the public. Attendees were supportive of the project and wanted to stay informed on progress and volunteer opportunities.
Project partners include Snohomish County Surface Water Management, the City of Everett, the Port of Everett, the US Environmental Protection Agency, US Army Corps of Engineers, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office Salmon Recovery Funding Board, and the Puget Sound Partnership.
Feasibility, design and construction generously funded by:
*Disclaimer: This web page was developed under Assistant Agreement No. (TBD) awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It has not been formally reviewed by EPA. The views expressed are solely those of the Snohomish County MRC and EPA does not endorse any products or commercial services mentioned.
NWSC Benchmarks Achieved:
Marine Habitat, Science, Education & Outreach