Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Seahurst Park

In 2005, a long section of riprap and gabions was removed from the south end of Seahurst Park.  Over the years since, the beach has recovered beautifully and the forest has grown back along the toe of the bluff.  I've posted photos of this section before and I'm sure I will again
(Seahurst:  February 2009).

Google Maps:  AERIAL VIEW

But now the story has shifted to the north end, where a complicated suite of old fill, concrete seawall, and riprap have left a strained landscape.  This month, the City of Burien and the Corps of Engineers will begin to remove all of this and by next spring a broad beach will take its place (assuming Congress gets around to doing its job without too much more foolishness).

Seattle Times (9-14-2013)

This is a complicated site - much more so than the south end.  A stream mouth (still in pretty good shape) empties out onto this beach and is probably a major influence on the morphology of the downdrift (northerly) beach.  Some of the old infrastructure will remain (a marine education center, a major sewer line, etc) and that definitely constrains some of the restoration actions, but overall, I suspect the result will give visitors something wonderful they may not even have realized they didn't have (sort of what happened at the south end).

This is being billed as the largest beach restoration project on Puget Sound.  If it's not the biggest, it's certainly close, although sometimes our memories are limited by the context. The 1980 restoration of the south beach at West Point in Seattle was on the same scale, but that was in another era!

West Point (Coastal Care, November 2010)

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