Saturday, December 05, 2009
Behind most of Camano Island's beaches are eroding bluffs that now and then dump sand and gravel onto the back of the beach. Camano's beaches are made of old landslides. But like bluffs all over Puget Sound, every couple hundred feet is owned by someone who loves the beach and the view, but is nervous about their proximity to the edge of the bluff (the very thing that provides them both the beach and the view). Erosion rates are pretty slow on the Sound, however, so most homes won't fall in for centuries, but that is little consolation to someone who had a big chunk collapse last winter.
Seawalls of one form or another can now be found on a third of Puget Sound's beaches and there are many more every year. The effects on our future shoreline of all these walls are going to be very real, but not necessarily immediate and not necessarily the same everywhere. It's too bad we can't bring our great grand kids back from the future to help us explain the problem - they might get more traction than the rest of us!