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Puget Sound meets 2020 bulkhead-removal goal; new indicators will chart the future

In a turnabout that offers hope for Puget Sound’s nearshore ecosystem, old bulkheads are now being removed faster than new bulkheads are being constructed, according to permit figures provided by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. In fact, officials with Puget Sound Partnership recently announced that the agency’s 2020 goal for reducing shoreline armoring …

Low-interest loans could help shoreline property owners finance improvements

As ongoing research confirms the importance of shoreline habitat throughout Puget Sound, experts are looking for new ways to help shoreline property owners pay for bulkhead removals. One emerging idea, which could be established as a formal initiative within a year, consists of a special shoreline loan program that could provide low-interest loans to residential …

Repairs of bulkheads, docks and other structures now involve habitat assessment

In a major policy shift by federal authorities, waterfront maintenance and reconstruction projects are undergoing increased scrutiny — not only for their environmental impacts during and after construction but for effects that ripple through time. The change, imposed by NOAA Fisheries to protect threatened and endangered species, requires compensation for environmental damage calculated over the …

Everything counts when helping young salmon survive their risky journey to the sea

When considering the amazing migration of salmon, we often talk about their long journey from the ocean, guided by smell, to the very stream where they first emerged from the gravel. But if we’re talking about salmon recovery — such as avoiding extinction for Puget Sound Chinook — we must focus equally on the first …

Shoreline armoring in Puget Sound gets new scrutiny from the Army Corps of Engineers

Shoreline bulkheads, which can damage beaches and destroy fish habitat, could come under more extensive review and permitting as the result of a revised shoreline policy announced last week by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The revised policy (PDF 163 kb), which resulted from a federal lawsuit, now requires a Corps of Engineers permit …

Shoreline monitoring toolbox webinar

Re-posted from the Habitat Strategic Initiative blog: Please join the Habitat Strategic Initiative for a webinar on Thursday, February 13th at 12pm Join the [pugetsoundestuary.wa.gov]Habitat Strategic Initiative for a webinar highlighting the results of one of our investments that is advancing progress on the Shoreline Armoring Implementation Strategy, Shoreline Monitoring Toolbox Protocol Implementation and Data …

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Survey shows Puget Sound residents prefer natural shorelines to armored ones

By Jeff Rice, Puget Sound Institute Shoreline armoring not only damages the ecosystem, it may also impact our ‘sense of place’ and enjoyment of the environment, according to a 2019 report from Oregon State University. The report is based on surveys of both property owners and non-property owners in Puget Sound. More than 66% of …

A bulkhead along the shores of Puget Sound. Photo by Christopher Dunagan.

PSI study will look at potential of low-interest loans for armor removal

There are more than 45,000 residential properties along Puget Sound’s shoreline. Of those, almost half have some form of environmentally damaging shoreline armoring. That makes private landowners a primary focus of state and federal armor removal efforts, but many landowners say they either lack funds or are unwilling to pay for sometimes costly beach restorations. …

Armor-removal project at Cornet Bay State Park before and after site restoration. Photo courtesy of PSEMP

Tracking the effectiveness of armor removal in Puget Sound

The removal of shoreline armoring has become a priority for the state’s Puget Sound recovery efforts. The Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program (PSEMP) is providing details on the effectiveness of armor-removal projects at 49 study sites. Summary In February 2019 the PSEMP Nearshore work group completed the compilation of armor-removal sites that have had restoration and …