Wednesday, May 04, 2016


The site of the old Waterman Mill on South Whidbey Island is by no means pristine, with it's 400' of creosote bulkhead and scattered metal debris and old tires on the beach, but it lies along a wonderful stretch of bluffs, which otherwise looks much like it did 200 years ago.

It's been acquired by the Whidbey Camano Land Trust and added to their growing list of successes, which include many very special beaches and bluffs around the two islands. Eventually, the old bulkhead will be removed (carefully -- there's a big wet hillside behind it) and this shoreline will blend back into the ones around it.

This shoreline is a reminder that our most natural bluffs are a wonderful mess, with landslides and fallen trees and a beach that can't make up its mind between sand and gravel or between wide and narrow. It's also a reminder that if a third of our beaches are armored, two thirds of them still aren't.


The photos don't show this, but low tide aerial photos along this longer reach of shoreline hint at mysteries offshore. The platform appears to drop off sharply (and very close to shore) in a few places, perhaps suggesting submarine landslides. Some day we'll have good shallow multibeam sonar or subtidal lidar along our entire coastline and everyone will wonder why we didn't get it twenty years ago!

No comments: