College of the Environment Graduate and Undergraduate Publications

Date Permissions Signed


College Affiliation

Huxley College of the Environment

Date of Award

Summer 2012

Document Type

Environmental Impact Assessment

Department or Program Affiliation

Department of Environmental Studies


Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Melious, Jean O.


The objective of the Birch Bay Shoreline Enhancement Project is to enrich the Central and North Birch Bay community by creating better access to the shoreline and beachfront area, constructing a pathway, and widening of the beach to help with flood control, aesthetics, ecosystem function, and sustainability. This will be accomplished by bettering the roadways and creating a pedestrian and bike friendly pathway that will run between the water and Birch Bay Drive. The project will focus on two specific areas--The Central Reach and The Cottonwood Reach. These are separate, as most of the intensive waterside and landside improvements will be made in the Central Reach. Waterside improvements will extend into the Cottonwood Reach to address the very narrow beach and flood risk to residences. The motivation for this project had its beginnings in the late 1970's and early 1980's. Wolf Bauer designed the Birch Bay Shore Resource Analysis that contained detailed sketches of his shoreline plan (consequently these sketches were used in the design of the proposed action for the current Birch Bay Shoreline Enhancement). In 1982 Birch Bay Drive was flooded and this storm event spurred community and governmental review of the current infrastructure on and near the shoreline. In 1986 a test renovation was performed on a portion of the bay. Characteristics of this test will be carried over in the current proposed action such as the installation of the gravel berm and beach nourishment. As a result, this proposal is a culmination of community and Whatcom County involvement over the last 30 years and has the potential to infuse socioeconomic vitality.




Shorelines--Washington (State)--Birch Bay, Shore protection--Washington (State)--Birch Bay, Coastal zone management--Washington (State)--Birch Bay, Environmental impact analysis--Washington (State)--Birch Bay


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Shorelines--Washington (State)--Birch Bay; Shore protection--Washington (State)--Birch Bay; Coastal zone management--Washington (State)--Birch Bay; Environmental impact analysis--Washington (State)--Birch Bay

Geographic Coverage

Birch Bay (Wash.)




environmental impact statements




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