Sunday, March 22, 2009

Duwamish River

I dropped the guys off at the South Park playfield for their Ultimate game on Saturday afternoon and then headed for the river (there are a few more pictures at hshipman). The Duwamish is a straight line here, long removed from its original meanders and heavily lined with concrete debris and riprap. Except at this little sandy beach at Duwamish Waterway Park, where a small cove has been created. The only waves here are from passing boats.

Just downstream, the Port of Seattle (or is it the City?) has just created a nice little public access at the end of 8th Avenue South, where until 1937 there was a bridge. I assume the wall of big anchored logs is to improve habitat and to provide protection from boat wakes for new plantings on the bank. There's a little gravel ramp for launching small boats or dipping one's foot in Seattle's poorly treated and long overlooked river.

The Duwamish has suffered from over a century of replumbing. It is basically the lower Green River, carrying whatever the Corps allows to flow past Howard Hanson Dam. The White River used to flow to the Sound this way, but long ago it was pointed south and now it flows out the Puyallup in Tacoma. And the Cedar used to flow this way, too, but then they lowered Lake Washington and built the ship canal and now all its water and its salmon flow out the Ballard Locks to Shilshole Bay. Good thing salmon are adaptable. Too bad there are so few left.

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