Tuesday, March 01, 2016


The beach along Saratoga Passage is classic Puget Sound - particularly on a gray day. A forested bluff collapsing in small pieces onto a mixed sand and gravel beach. This is a north-facing (northeast, actually) shoreline and avoids the more common southerly storm waves, although the rare sustained northerly can really stir things up given the large fetch.


There are scattered bulkheads along here, although they have limited value in preventing the steep slopes from sliding during wet winters. But this particular stretch is remarkably undeveloped, except for an occasional stairway. And this huge elevated rectangle of upland - built out across the beach in the 1960s. Back when such things, even if not entirely legal, were rarely noticed.

In many cases, including many on southern Whidbey Island, homes would have been built on the reclaimed land, at risk from slides and storms, increasingly expensive to maintain, and an unnecessary intrusion into what Wolf called the shore process corridor (more on Wolf in a subsequent post).

Here, there is an opportunity to make it right. The small private community improves its beach access and Saratoga Passage regains a beach. It will take a lot of work, but there is interest and willingness and leadership and perhaps even funding to make it happen. Hopefully, I can report back on this site in a year or two.

No comments: