Sunday, August 02, 2015

Mission Creek

Mission Creek is another small stream mouth with a long history. The old road cut across the mouth of the estuary on a small causeway but in the last couple of years, local groups have worked together to remove the armor and the fill and the creek now flows freely.


This site is at the south end of Olympia's Priest Point Park and within sight of the Capitol Building and the city's Port Peninsula. There's not much wave energy here on Budd Inlet. The shoreline in the park north of this site consists of a small promontory of Pleistocene gravel that would probably be long gone if the waves were bigger and a salt marsh that has formed without the need for a protective spit.

One the challenges of restoring these small stream mouths - besides the occasional railroad (see previous post) - is their cultural history. These places were probably always important Native American sites. They were low-lying areas with fresh water and easy access to the Sound. And later they were the obvious places for settlers to homestead or to build fishing camps and shingle mills. That means that although restoration may sound good to everyone, it is very difficult to do it without disturbing something of importance to someone.

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