Tuesday, May 26, 2009

South of Frenchman's Cove

We weren't sure what to call this place, since the stream apparently has no name, but for the last couple of years, it has been owned by the public and efforts are underway to remove 120 years of buildings and fill and unnaturally straight stream channel. Putting it back the way it was is a bit tricky, as we don't know exactly what it looked like in 1850, nor are there many good reference sites to use as a template.

Stream mouths were among the first features of the landscape to get turned into logging camps, shingle mills, and homesteads, and few, even in remotest Hood Canal, look much like they once did.
The streams were straightened, and often put in pipes. Frequently they were pushed to one side of their small valleys. The small estuarine wetlands that may have been common at their mouths were filled in and walls built to hold the fill in place. Small spits were buried or simply vanished when the stream mouth was channeled. And of course, the watersheds were logged and relogged and at least in some places, turned into cities.

Hopefully, I can come back in a year or two and take some pictures of the new stream channel, the brackish wetland, and the rehabilitated spits.

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