Sunday, January 04, 2009

Brown's Point

This entry stems from a Saturday spent in Federal Way early in December. Brown's Point marks the northern entrance of Tacoma's Commencement Bay and began as a small cuspate foreland spit (cuspate foreland, low point, closed point). The sign suggests that the low backshore was filled by the Lighthouse Service in the 1920s.

The tip of the point, around the navigation marker, is armored with riprap, but there are small beaches on both sides. They consist of well-sorted reddish gravel, definitely not like other Puget Sound beaches. Interestingly, the gravel looks remarkably like the gravel used in the upland landscaping and I suspect that at some point in the past folks may have "enhanced" these beaches with this imported material. The beach at Salter's Point in Steilacoom is composed of similar gravel and I wonder if there is a common, somewhat manufactured, thread.

Flooding on the Puyallup earlier in November left an enormous amount of fresh wood washed up on the beaches from here on down into Commencement Bay.

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