Belfair State Park Estuary Restoration

HCSEG restored approximately 8.1 acres of estuarine wetlands and removed 2,700 feet of rip-rap hardened shoreline at Belfair State Park. Historically, the estuary was created by two creeks that flowed through the park. In the 1950s, a shoreline of rip rap (and fill) was placed to develop day-use facilities.  Additionally, a tidal gate was installed to create a swimming hole, and both creeks were also channelized. These changes resulted in a significant loss of estuarine habitat.

During the course of the project, approximately 67,000 cubic yards of fill and 2,700 feet of rip rap from the saltwater shoreline were removed. These actions led to restoring the intertidal marsh zone, and returned sinuosity to Big and Little Mission Creeks.  It also allowed the creeks to take a more natural course into Lower Hood Canal.

The project also removed the tidal gate and swimming hole, and also moved a campground bridge on Little Mission Creek that had blocked woody debris and sediment, which created a fish-passage barrier. In conjunction with the grant-funded project, new bottomless culverts replaced undersized fish passage barriers at Beck Road on Little Mission Creek.

This restoration is a great example of providing necessary migratory habitat for ESA-listed summer chum.