Saturday, November 28, 2009

Joemma Beach

Joemma Beach State Park is located on the west side of the Key Peninsula, just north of Whiteman Cove. Historically, Whiteman Cove was a large estuary or lagoon separated from Case Inlet by a spit. The spit is now a causeway - the entrance road to Camp Coleman (YMCA) - and the estuarine lagoon is a large lake, except for a very small remnant spit and lagoon at the north end next to the Park. I was last out here in 2000, immediately after the Nisqually Earthquake, noting the sand boils, cracks running through the mud, and slumps in the roadway fill resulting from the shaking (the epicenter was about 10 km southeast and about 30 km down).

What attracted me most to Joemma is the beautiful high bluffs and the long stretch of undeveloped shoreline that lies to the north (see Google Earth map linked to the title of this post). I suspect it is one of the larger remaining chunks of unaltered beach, bluff, and upland forest in South Sound. Unfortunately, the shoreline north of the Park is heavily posted - I guess someone owns this beach. Exploration is clearly discouraged, but sediment movement clearly is not -- the bluffs are dumping sand and gravel on the beach and and the air photos show a wonderful set of spits across the next small estuary to the north.

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