Submitted by Friends of San Juan.
It has been an exciting week for local forage fish and juvenile out-migration salmon as the Friends of the San Juans and the community of Salmon Point have successfully restored priority riparian habitat along their local beach.
At the southern end of Lopez Island, two areas of rip-rap and failed rip-rap covered portions of a documented smelt spawning beach, which negatively impacted the habitat available to them. forage fish to lay their eggs. The beach is also a priority area for juvenile exit migrating salmon, which feed on forage fish as well as many other creatures such as insects that take advantage of a natural shoreline. Our endangered killer whale, of course, depends on healthy salmon populations.
Michael Budnick, of Northwest Concepts, implemented the project, which was designed by Coastal Gelogic Services. Approximately 42 cubic yards of medium to large size boulder as well as four large toxic creosote balls were removed from the upper part of the beach along the forage fish spawning habitat area. Last winter, to complement recent beach restoration efforts, Flower Mountain Tree Service planted 220 native trees and shrubs along the shoreline. The restoration efforts were supported by a grant from the Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board and the Salmon Point Community Association.
“The Salmon Point Community Association was delighted to partner with the Friends of the San Juans to restore our community beach. Every beach counts in this fragile ecosystem and we are so happy to do our part, ”noted Mark Pearson of the Salmon Point Community Association.
To learn more about Friends’ coastal habitat restoration projects, visit sanjuans.org/shoreline_restoration/.