Old seawall removed at Children’s Park
By KEVAN MOORE
Central Kitsap Reporter Staff Writer
September 7, 2012 · Updated 5:39 PM
A person who has never been to Anna Smith Children’s Park near the fairgrounds would have no way of knowing that a 650-foot long crumbling bulkhead at the site once held out against the tide.
That dilapidated bulkhead, on the shoreline of Dyes Inlet, has been completely removed after work started at the site last week and all that remains is a gentle, sandy slope at the water’s edge.
Contractors at the park this week said the beach could be reopened to the public any day now when they finish scouring the beach for any pieces of concrete that may have come and gone with the rise and fall of the tides.
Kitsap County’s community development and parks and recreation departments teamed together to use Environmental Protection Agency grant funds to remove the old seawall, improve shoreline access and safety and restore the natural conditions of the shoreline.
“This project helps us get rid of an old bulkhead and demonstrates to the public how a shoreline can be restored,” said Kitsap County Parks Superintendent Dori Leckner. “It would be more expensive to rebuild and this project shows us that a bulkhead is of no use in preventing erosion here anyway.”
The bulkhead removal project is part of a larger Kitsap Regional Shoreline Restoration Project funded by the EPA Watershed Assistance Program. The project studied all Kitsap County shorelines and Anna Smith Park was shown as an important area for sediment source contribution to the nearshore.
Around the state, shoreline is still being encased in concreete faster than it’s returned to a more natural condition. Bulkheads and seawalls often trap natural sediment contributions to beaches and can impact salmon feeding areas and forage fish spawning grounds.
When bulkheads aren’t protecting structures, their removal can help restore shoreline functions, officials said.
County officials said that dedicated Beach Watcher volunteers participated in pre-bulkhead monitoring to collect valuable information on the state of the beach. The volunteers will continue to help track ecological and physical changes over the years to come.
Contact Central Kitsap Reporter Staff Writer Kevan Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org.