Sunday, April 08, 2007
I spent Friday afternoon with the Snohomish County Beach Watchers. They had to endure an hour and a half in a darkened classroom watching slides before we headed for the beach. A sunny Friday afternoon meant that we were competing for space with the regular beach crowd.
In the 1970's, this was going to be the site of an oil refinery, but that fell through and a park and a golf course emerged. In the 1980s, the threat of erosion to park improvements near the tip of the point led to construction of a low steel sheetpile bulkhead with a concrete cap, which the waves have been throwing logs over the top of ever since. The simpler solution would have been to move the road and some picnic tables farther back, but our culture sees that as retreating - something we seem unwilling to accept as an acceptable solution! But two years of maintenance on a storm-damaged road has turned things around - the road will be relocated and maybe the bulkhead will be pulled out.
Although the back-barrier wetland - probably a salt marsh and tidal lagoon - has long been buried under fill and houses and parking lots, the remnants of the ebb-tidal delta where the original tidal channel emerged is still visible on the beach as a pronouced bulge a couple hundred yards north of the pier.
It's great to see the original Beach Watchers model (developed on Whidbey) being extended into other areas. This morning's Seattle Times has a nice piece about Beach Watchers.