Under clear blue – but blustery – skies on Friday, numerous dignitaries gathered for a ribbon cutting ceremony at the recently-restored Seahurst Park Beach in Burien.
City Manager Kamuron Gurol served as Master of Ceremonies, and was joined by Deputy Mayor Bob Edgar, Congressman Jim McDermott, Senator Patty Murry (via audio recording), Col. John G Buck of the US Army Corps of Engineers, Sheida Sahandy of Puget Sound Partnership, Sen. Sharon Nelson, Kaleen Cottingham of the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office, Doug Osterman, Watershed Coordinator and Normandy Park Councilmember, with the unannounced, surprise guest of honor being former Burien Mayor and Councilmember Joan McGilton.
There were also several city staff members as well as workers who helped do the restoration project.
“The overall purpose of this project is to improve marine habitat for salmon and restore natural sediment processes and the beach to pre-seawall conditions,” reads an announcement on the city’s website. “The project construction contractor, CKY Inc., is a civil and environmental construction company headquartered in California with a Seattle office. Sub-contractors included 10 Western Washington companies.”
Here’s more about it from the city:
The Seahurst Park Ecosystem Restoration Project Phase II was a joint City of Burien and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project. Other partners and funders included the Puget Sound Partnership, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Green/Duwamish Central Puget Sound Watershed Forum, King Conservation District, Salmon Recovery Funding Board, and Washington Recreation & Conservation Office.
The park reopened to the general public Aug. 25.
The Seahurst Park Ecosystem Restoration Project Phase II restored 2,800 feet of shoreline, building on the earlier success at Seahurst Park’s south end which restored 1,200 feet of park shoreline in 2005. The combined projects represent a three-quarter-mile length of bulkhead removal, shoreline re-grading, beach re-nourishment and the addition of thousands of riparian plants and beach grasses. The project has also greatly enhanced the public’s access to the beach, a high priority for the City of Burien.
For the City of Burien, Seahurst Park is one of its most important assets and the City has worked the past 10 years to remove the hard armoring lining the shore and restore natural nearshore processes. “This restoration was the largest bulkhead removal as part of a shoreline restoration project on Puget Sound,” said Parks Department Director Michael Lafreniere. “It’s a big deal for a city our size.”
This project was also a priority for the Green/Duwamish Central Puget Sound Watershed Forum’s Chinook salmon recovery plan and ranked third on the Puget Sound Partnership’s regionally ranked large capital projects list for Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration (PSAR) funding. PSAR project ranking is coordinated by the Puget Sound Partnership, the state agency responsible for leading the Puget Sound recovery effort. Projects in this watershed are first prioritized by the Green/Duwamish Central Puget Sound Watershed Forum then regionally ranked by the Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Council, which is convened by PSP. A key recovery target for the Puget Sound Action Agenda is that the total number of shoreline armoring removed should be greater than the total amount of new armoring. The project at Seahurst moves Puget Sound recovery toward that goal.
These projects represent large-scale, multi-partner restoration efforts that watershed groups have spent many years developing. “The restoration work at Seahurst is a great example of partners working together to create something that benefits both human and habitat needs; where we advance both regional recovery goals and local community needs all at the same time,” said Sheida Sahandy, executive director of the Puget Sound Partnership. “This is the kind of forward-thinking work we want to see more of throughout the region.”
As both a local and regional priority, this project leveraged a combination of state and federal funding. The Corps implemented and managed construction and provided the maximum federal $5 million funding limit for this type of project. The City and its funding partners provided the additional $3.1 million construction funds through state capital dollars allocated by the PSP through the PSAR Fund, the Environmental Protection Agency and Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife’s Estuary & Salmon Restoration Program, and from the Green/Duwamish Central Puget Sound Watershed Forum through the King Conservation District.
For more information, visit http://www.burienwa.gov/index.aspx?NID=471.]]>