Friends of the San Juans restored a historic feeder bluff located on the southeast shore of Brown Island near Friday Harbor in partnership with three private landowners. The bluff and upper beach was armored with large rocks across multiple private properties. With limited wave energy it was an excellent site for full bulkhead removal. Restoration of the feeder bluff restored coastal processes. Removal of the rock armor uncovered potential forage fish spawning habitat and also allowed for expansion of marine riparian vegetation. This enhanced insect and organic material delivery into the nearshore benefits outmigrating juvenile salmon.
The project site is very typical of developed shorelines in San Juan County: the parcel sizes are relatively small; there are multiple private landowners; and the beach had outdated, unnecessary rocks along the bank that limited the natural supply of sediment to maintain the beach.
Project acknowledgements: Rain Shadow Consulting, Naturescapes Landscaping, Drayton Archaeological Research, Coastal Geologic Services.
Funding was provided by FSJ members, private landowners, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Estuary Program’s Puget Sound Marine and Nearshore Grant Program.