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Whatcom Creek Estuary Restoration

Created by Peter Hummel on Jan 07, 2015  

Construction Dates: 
Mar, 2005
600 West Holly Street
Bellingham , WA
United States
48° 44' 56.202" N, 122° 29' 11.6592" W
Washington US
Pre-Project Conditions
Major Plant Species Present: 
Other Major Plant Species Present: 
Small fringe of carex lyngbyei at elevation 6 ft. (MLLW datum). Non-native acer platanoides trees along shoreline. Japanese knotweed (invasive shrub) present.
Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAVs) present?: 
Bank elevation above MHW: 
8.0 feet
Pre-Construction Erosion Present?: 
Pre-Construction Erosion at Adjacent Parcels?: 
Do Not Know
Average Nearshore Slope: 
Existing Structures or Debris?: 
Describe Existing Structures or Debris at the Site: 
Site is former municipal landfill. Extensive excavation of landfill refuse required to build project. Surface debris consisted of concrete and asphalt rubble and lumber.
Environmental Considerations
Name of Waterbody: 
Bellingham Bay, Puget Sound
Site Classification: 
Maximum Exposed Fetch Distance: 
0.10 miles
Tidal Range: 
12.0 feet
Adjacent to Navigation Channel?: 
Brackish: 0.5 – 30 ppt
Description of Nearby Structures: 
Whatcom Waterway, a dredged navigation channel separated by Holly St. Bridge (and a second bridge) over Whatcom Estuary.
100-Year Flood Elevation Vertical Datum: 
Other Vertical Datum: 
MLLW =0, Corps of Engineers Datum
Design Considerations
Was fill brought in?: 
Type of Fill: 
Describe Other Fill Type: 
A combination of sand cap material for remediation, gravel armor layer, quarry spalls, and topsoil were all imported.
Amount of Fill: 
5,600 cubic yards
Source of Fill: 
Local private sources.
Proposed nearshore slope: 
Area of upland conversion to marsh: 
11,000 square feet
Length of Project: 
600 feet
Average Project Width: 
100 feet
Width of Wetlands Above MHW: 
10 feet
Width of Wetlands Below MHW: 
35 feet
Design Wave Height: 
0.0 feet
Structural Elements
Did the project involve a structure?: 
Describe construction materials: 
Non-Structural Elements
Was erosion fabric used for soil stabilization?: 
Primary Wetland species below MHW: 
Primary wetland species above MHW: 
Root mat developed by vegetation?: 
Cross-section width of planted area: 
45 feet
Additional expected ecological benefits from project?: 
ESA listed juvenile Chinook salmon rearing and feeding habitat, similar benefits to other juvenile salmon species (eg. chum salmon). Habitat for wading birds, waterfowl. Riparian habitat provides greater species diversity and inputs of shading, detritus, and insects, plus habitat for birds.
Project Performance
Overall performance of Living Shoreline for erosion protection?: 
Overall performance of the habitat enhancement?: 
Describe overall structure and vegetation performance: 
vegetation performance has been excellent with coverage by target species in the 80-100% range.
Overall performance of the structure and vegetation?: 
Describe overall erosion protection performance: 
No erosion detected on site in marsh and other planted areas except a small area at a storm water outfall which was repaired with rock.
Storm Exposure: 
Describe overall performance for the habitat enhancement: 
Site has been monitorerd and is being used by juvenile chinook salmon (target species, other salmon species, and wading birds/waterfowl.
Unforeseen benefits from project?: 
Project provides site for environmental education. Is adjacent to an environmental education center used by local school groups. Planned use by public includes boardwalk trail with viewpoints, public interpretive art, and fishing.
Other Comments: 
the City of Bellingham (client) is very pleased with the project's performance. Only issue needed follow up adaptive management was the stormwater outfall erosion and this was addressed by adding larger rock armor at the outfall apron.
Additional Information