Ediz Hook began as a graceful spit enclosing Port Angeles Harbor – where native villages dotted the shoreline long before the anchorage was discovered by white folks. But spits move and maybe they move faster when their sediment supply is cut off. Some of gravel that formed Ediz Hook came from the Elwha River and is now stuck behind the dams or in the lower river, waiting for a flood to wash it to the sea where the waves can turn it into a beach. Some of the gravel that formed Ediz Hook came from the erosion of bluffs to the west, bluffs now stabilized by the riprapped pipeline that brings water to the mill and to town. Restoring sediment sources won’t cause Ediz Hook to build back again, but it may reduce the frequency with which the Corps needs to feed cobble to the spit to keep its elegant revetment from sliding into the Strait.
This is one of the nicest revetments on Puget Sound – big rock, securely placed on top of several miles of beach. The inside of Ediz Hook was probably once a wonderful beach, too, but a long history of log storage and marine industry have left eroding banks of fill between small pockets of sand and gravel.