Saturday, October 29, 2011

Nellita Creek

I last visited this site in January 2010, only a few months after the seawall and the fill were removed and the stream mouth estuary was re-excavated.  Now the site has had enough time for the vegetation to really begin to take hold.  The stream has deposited a significant volume of sediment in the upper portion of the lagoon and this area is now high enough for alder to establish.  The lower portions of the estuary are giving rise to various salt marsh plants.  The mouth of the estuary is probably still trying to figure out how to balance the stream and the daily ebbing and flooding of the tides.  On the other hand, I guess the mouths of estuaries are always trying to sort this out.

The spit itself is a pretty uneven feature.  The beachface is marked by two distinct humps, perhaps an artifact of the original shoreline shape or perhaps the coarse-grained fans of earlier stream mouths.  The restored spit has a low point in the berm that has been overtopped.  Eventually, I expect the spit will even out a little bit, but there's not a lot of beach sediment and not a lot of wave action to move it around, so this process will be slow.

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