Tuesday, March 03, 2009
The Port of Olympia sits on a promontory of fill at the southern end of Budd Inlet, at the mouth of the Deschutes River. Its northern shoreline faces up the inlet and wave action is primarily from that direction. Not surprisingly, the artificially imposed shoreline erodes if not protected or otherwise managed. They've done a nice job of cleaning up and redeveloping this area and this shoreline is an improvement over the industrial mess of a few years ago, but it looks like maybe they still have some problems to work out.
I suspect the intentions were good. Maintain a softer shoreline and avoid simply riprapping the eroding bank (the way it would have been dealt with 60, or even 10, years ago). The problem is that there's nothing to prevent ongoing erosion of the gravelly beach face and it is going to gradually retreat and undercut the large line of boulders. A couple have already begun their march down the beach. I suspect that in order to maintain a soft shoreline here, it may be necessary to add some more gravel and some sort of sill at the west end (maybe under the restaurant?) to keep the gravel from getting away.
Priest Point Park, just up the inlet from here, is a nice leftover piece of original South Sound shoreline.