Thursday, October 24, 2013


There's a new beach taking shape in Anacortes at the old Custom Plywood site.  The lumber mill closed down a long time ago and later burnt to the ground (or the water, since much of it was over water). They're currently cleaning up the toxic residue and redeveloping the site for a mixture of commercial and public uses.

Here are some earlier pictures - from back in the early days of the blog.
Anacortes:  April 2006

Google Maps: AERIAL VIEW

There's a lot going on here. The jetty at the north end is being extended, apparently to help shelter whatever ship yard or boat basin is planned for the north portion of the site. The southern portion of the site is dedicated to public use. A wetland, a small pocket estuary, will help buffer stormwater and restore some of the low energy habitat that may have once existed along portions of this shoreline.

The wetland/lagoon is sheltered by an artificial spit/berm with a coarse cobble core - I guess to keep it from washing away, not that that's very likely. The new beach, complete with drift logs, is being built on the outer face of this berm, and the estuary drains through a new tidal channel. The new beach is in turn protected by another spit, a pseudo-spit of coarser material that curves out into the bay - sort of a naturalistic breakwater.

This will be a fascinating landscape to watch evolve over the coming years. The vegetation in the wetland will have to sort itself out - adjusting to the tidal regime and the salinity of the new marsh. The beach will adjust to the waves and to the dynamics of the little tidal inlet, but I suspect will do fine. I am looking forward to launching a kayak there next summer some time. The outer spit is an interesting concept, but I'm curious to see what kind of shorelines actually become established on both its inside and outside edges.

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