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Whatcom Creek Estuary Restoration

Created by Peter Hummel on Jan 07, 2015  
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General
Construction Dates: 
Actual
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
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?: 
No
Bank elevation above MHW: 
8.0 feet
Pre-Construction Erosion Present?: 
Yes
Pre-Construction Erosion at Adjacent Parcels?: 
Do Not Know
Average Nearshore Slope: 
1:2.0
Existing Structures or Debris?: 
Yes
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: 
Cove
Maximum Exposed Fetch Distance: 
0.10 miles
Tidal Range: 
12.0 feet
Adjacent to Navigation Channel?: 
Yes
Salinity: 
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
Other Vertical Datum: 
MLLW =0, Corps of Engineers Datum
Design Considerations
Was fill brought in?: 
Yes
Type of Fill: 
Other
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: 
1:10.0
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?: 
No
Describe construction materials: 
N/A
Non-Structural Elements
Was erosion fabric used for soil stabilization?: 
Yes
Primary Wetland species below MHW: 
Other
Primary wetland species above MHW: 
Other
Root mat developed by vegetation?: 
Yes
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?: 
High
Overall performance of the habitat enhancement?: 
High
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?: 
High
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: 
No
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