Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Birch Bay

The northern half of Birch Bay's eastern shoreline is a long curving gravel barrier beach, separating the bay from extensive wetlands farther inland. Birch Bay Drive pretty much follows the original berm and there isn't much high tide beach left - what wasn't buried by the road has eroded away to a narrow strip, much of it covered in riprap or a concrete seawall. Dozens of small groins reflect an early, and not terribly successful, attempt to hold the beach together (Birch Bay - Part Two: March 2015).


Except for the groins and a few big storm drains, the beach is pretty much continuous and accessible, from the north end south to the mouth of Terrell Creek. South of the creek, things get sort of ugly, but that's another story (Birch Bay - Part One: March 2015). There is one other exception - a notable one.

M and I had a Sunday afternoon appointment in Blaine and stopped in here for lunch beforehand. It was quiet and our table was just a few feet above the beach - and considerably seaward of the high water line. This might be pretty exciting on a stormy day, but I guess that's why they have those shutters that can be pulled up to cover the lower portion of the windows. Keeps the gravel from breaking the glass, the salt water off the carpet, and the logs from landing on the tables.

There are major plans to rehabilitate the beach in next year or two, fulfilling portions of a vision Wolf Bauer laid out almost 40 years ago. He imagined a wonderful public beach stretching along this entire shoreline -- I guess they'll sort of have to build it around this place.

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