Presentation Abstract

Meadowdale Beach Park and Estuary Restoration project proposes to restore a pocket estuary connection to the Salish Sea at the northern end of Brown’s Bay to provide essential rearing habitat for non-natal juvenile Chinook, and other fish species. Lund’s Gulch Creek, a small coastal stream, and gulch-derived sediments were confined to a six-foot wide culvert when the railroad embankment, separating the tidelands from the backshore, was constructed along Puget Sound. This project will replace 128 feet of embankment with a five-span railroad bridge providing a 90-foot opening for widened creek meander and sediment delivery. Fill material removed from the existing lawn will restore tidal/groundwater exchange for estuary restoration. Located within a 108-acre park, stakeholders include 70,000 annual visitors visiting the park for nature walks, exercise, picnicking, kayak camping, beach-combing and science-based programs for Kindergarten through College-age, Environmental and Recreation-focused organizations; and BNSF railway. Local tribes include the Suquamish, Stillaguamish and Tulalips. A complex agreement and design approval are required with BNSF as a land and facility owner. The diverse set of interests, including habitat, salmon, cultural resources, beach nourishment, recreation, pedestrian safety, and railroad operations, necessitated a community-based approach starting with three county departments partnering. Community, Organizations and Tribes were invited to provide input at key milestones starting prior to development of alternatives. A translator was provided for a non-English speaking contingent. Permit agency meetings were held well in advance of pre-aps. A version of this project remained in conceptual stage for nearly two decades. The ability for this project to progress with such success is in part due to the community-based approach. Letters of support resulting from outreach will be key in securing grant funding. If successful, elements of this project could be repeated in the Salish Sea region where other coastal streams and estuaries were similarly historically altered

Session Title

Insights from Community-Based Approaches to Salish Sea Restoration Projects

Keywords

Community based restoration, Salish Sea restoration

Conference Track

SSE6: Communication

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE6-154

Start Date

5-4-2018 2:00 PM

End Date

5-4-2018 2:15 PM

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 5th, 2:00 PM Apr 5th, 2:15 PM

Insights from community-based approaches to Salish Sea restoration projects: Meadowdale Beach Park and estuary restoration project

Meadowdale Beach Park and Estuary Restoration project proposes to restore a pocket estuary connection to the Salish Sea at the northern end of Brown’s Bay to provide essential rearing habitat for non-natal juvenile Chinook, and other fish species. Lund’s Gulch Creek, a small coastal stream, and gulch-derived sediments were confined to a six-foot wide culvert when the railroad embankment, separating the tidelands from the backshore, was constructed along Puget Sound. This project will replace 128 feet of embankment with a five-span railroad bridge providing a 90-foot opening for widened creek meander and sediment delivery. Fill material removed from the existing lawn will restore tidal/groundwater exchange for estuary restoration. Located within a 108-acre park, stakeholders include 70,000 annual visitors visiting the park for nature walks, exercise, picnicking, kayak camping, beach-combing and science-based programs for Kindergarten through College-age, Environmental and Recreation-focused organizations; and BNSF railway. Local tribes include the Suquamish, Stillaguamish and Tulalips. A complex agreement and design approval are required with BNSF as a land and facility owner. The diverse set of interests, including habitat, salmon, cultural resources, beach nourishment, recreation, pedestrian safety, and railroad operations, necessitated a community-based approach starting with three county departments partnering. Community, Organizations and Tribes were invited to provide input at key milestones starting prior to development of alternatives. A translator was provided for a non-English speaking contingent. Permit agency meetings were held well in advance of pre-aps. A version of this project remained in conceptual stage for nearly two decades. The ability for this project to progress with such success is in part due to the community-based approach. Letters of support resulting from outreach will be key in securing grant funding. If successful, elements of this project could be repeated in the Salish Sea region where other coastal streams and estuaries were similarly historically altered