Bay View State Park undergoes beach restoration

Workers for Jansen Inc. work Monday on the beach restoration area at Bay View State Park. Scott Terrell / Skagit Valley Herald

BAY VIEW — Crews are finishing up the first phase of a two-part beach restoration project at Bay View State Park this week.

The project is aimed at repairing erosion and preventing further damage, State Parks Environmental Engineer Gary Cray said.

Senior park aide Laurie Cottingham said she is excited about the work.

Crews built a new rock revetment, removed some non-native rocks and covered the beach with natural materials between Sept. 15 and Tuesday, which fell outside the park’s busy season and within a time-frame least harmful to fish, Cray said. They are now building a fence to narrow beach access to four distinct paths, and will then hydro-seed bare areas.

They anticipate finishing the $200,000 phase this week, aside from sea grass plantings that will be held off until more favorable weather in March.

The second phase of the restoration project is estimated to cost around $300,000. Cray said he anticipates knowing whether the state agency has secured funding for it by July 2015.

Construction would include rebuilding the beach with larger, pebble-like material less susceptible to erosion than the fine sand that is there now, he said.

The beach was built for public access purposes as part of Bay View State Park in the 1970s, Cray said. It was constructed with imported rocks and sand that are not natural to a local environment.

The fine sand is susceptible to lateral currents in the bay that can carry it away, as well as movement from visitors kicking it around over the years, he said. Replacing it will further prevent erosion, as well as improve shoreline habitat for forage fish.

 — Reporter Kimberly Cauvel: 360-416-2199, kcauvel@skagitpublishing.com, Twitter: @Kimberly_SVH, facebook.com/bykimberlycauvel

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