Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Salsbury Point

In the fall of 1995, Kitsap County Parks removed the old riprap and nourished the beach. And it's still doing remarkably well.

It's a difficult site - the lagoon was filled, the beach pushed out, and the coastal regime altered because of the boat ramps and because the floating bridge has cut off much of the southerly wave action (which would have continued to deliver sediment). The original plan was just to rebuild a nicer rock bulkhead, but a habitat biologist pushed back, suggesting something softer. And County Parks staff were willing to listen. A geologist with the state (much younger then) helped them sketch out some ideas and cross-sections, based on experience with some of Wolf Bauer's designs.

Beach east of the boat ramps
Although I was pretty confident the project would work, I never would have expected it to go 20 years without a little assistance. The underlying erosion problem remains and the beach has gradually retreated into the backshore created in 1995. The backshore is a little too high, so it doesn't get overtopped, and therefore supports upland vegetation better than beach grass. An old drain pipe has gradually been exposed and dribbles rusty water onto the beach.

Healthy beach at south end of park
Previous post:  Salsbury Point: 2013

I think some adaptive management is due. Before someone gets surprised and does something dumb. I understand there is talk of doing some work on the boat ramp(s) - maybe that will be a chance to look at some options.


Of course, there's still a difficult stretch between the main park and the ramp - I think it's where electric cables head out under the canal. It's oriented obliquely to the waves and has no sediment - which presents a real challenge.

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