A 1,200-foot stretch of Ediz Hook, a popular beach destination in Port Angeles, is undergoing habitat restoration this summer to benefit wildlife and people.
The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are restoring the popular “A-frame” site on the spit, a former log dump area that was used until the 1970s. It will be cleared of fill and existing structures during an eight-week construction period starting in June.
“The goal is to improve the shoreline for forage fish spawning including smelt and sand lance, the critters that salmon like to eat,” said Mike McHenry, the tribe’s habitat program manager. “It will also benefit people because it will be much more accessible for recreation. It’s kind of a dangerous place now because of the fill and the junk that’s there.”
The over-water dock portion of the A-frame, constructed mostly of creosote treated pilings, was removed in 2008 by DNR. However, other portions of the structure were left behind, such as shoreline armoring, concrete chunks, metal scraps and other debris.
The tribe’s habitat restoration crew also will remove 5,000 yards of fill, some of which has been determined as lightly contaminated by hydrocarbons, such as petroleum and wood waste. This material will be replaced with clean sand and gravel to reshape the beach. The crew will add woody debris to stabilize the area, then finish it off by planting native dune grasses.
“The Ediz Hook project is already a great success story and illustrates the effectiveness of partnerships in restoring our shorelines,” said Peter Goldmark, the state commissioner of public lands. “DNR is proud to be a part of this restoration effort with the Lower Elwha Tribe and the City of Port Angeles.”
Another benefit of the project is that the restored beach will naturally protect the Ediz Hook Road, which has been subjected to erosive forces for years, McHenry said.
During restoration, the portion of the Port Angeles Waterfront Trail adjacent to the A-frame site will stay open, but the construction area will be fenced, preventing public access.
“The City of Port Angeles is excited about the improvements that this project will make to this very visible and highly utilized portion of Ediz Hook,” said Nathan West, City of Port Angeles’ director of community and economic development. “Ediz Hook is a priority recreation area as established by our Shoreline Master Program public visioning process. The city is very grateful to the tribe and DNR for their effort in ensuring this public vision is fulfilled.”
Funding for this project comes from an Environmental Protection Agency Puget Sound Tribal Implementation Assistance grant.
For more information, contact: Mike McHenry, Lower Elwha Klallam habitat program manager, at (360) 457-4012 ext. 14 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Toni Droscher, DNR Aquatics Program Communications Manager, at (360) 902-1523 or email@example.com; Nathan West, Director of Community and Economic Development, at (360) 417-4570 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Tiffany Royal, Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission information officer, at (360) 297-6546 or email@example.com.