County and private residents to restore beach

By Ryan Robinson

A bulkhead located on the shoreline north of the Anna Smith Children’s Park is in the process of being removed as part of a joint effort between the Kitsap County government and private citizens to improve the quality of a nearby beach.

According to county officials, the 400-foot wooden seawall has been blocking the natural flow of sediment from reaching the shore, thereby harming the  surrounding ecosystem.

The obstructed sediments are known as an important piece of the food chain in the area. The lack of them negatively impacts other sea life, from shellfish to salmon.

The beach will begin to gravitate back towards ecological stability after the bulkhead has been taken out.

So far, machines and crews have finished re-contouring the hillside above the beach and have moved on to the beach itself.

“We’ve had a very positive first start,” said Christina Kereki, the Kitsap County Department of Community Development’s Environmental Planner. “It’s looking good so far.”

One of Kereki’s biggest goals has been to demonstrate to private owners how beach restoration can be achieved through “alternative” methods like slope contouring and re-vegetation.

This beach is among the first to be restored as part of the overarching Kitsap Regional Shoreline Restoration Project, a larger undertaking funded by the EPA’s Watershed Assistance Program that aims to revitalize multiple locations along the Kitsap Peninsula’s coastline.

Public outreach played a large role in determining which beaches required the most attention. An online survey was hosted by the county to identify owner willingness and the most deserving candidates for restoration.

Those results were compared to others found by the county in an important, in-depth study used to identify sediment sources and pathways.

The majority of the project located north of the Children’s Park was slated to be completed within two and a half weeks after having began on June 30, said Kereki.

Planting on the reformed land is also scheduled, but will not occur until the fall to ensure the plants’ survival.

Ryan Robinson is the summer intern at the Bremerton Patriot and Central Kitsap Reporter.

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