Video Highlights Brown Island Beach Restoration Project
From Friends of the San Juans…
Friends of the San Juans (Friends) is releasing a new video about a project that removed large unnatural rock from a historic feederbluff and restored a local beach. This project is helping to “set the table” for the entire Salish Sea food chain. Removing unnecessary armoring and restoring this beach helps ensure that forage fish have the right kind of sand/gravel mixture to lay their eggs on and plenty of shade from vegetation to protect these eggs. Forage fish, like surf smelt, sand lance and herring feed larger fish like salmon and ling cod, as well as marine mammals, seabirds and people. A healthy forage fish population is critical to the food web in the San Juans and the Salish Sea.
Friends recently completed this beach restoration project on Brown Island with many partners including three private shoreline landowners and local contractors. The video, “A Place at the Table: Benefits of Beach Restoration,” showcases the project, the people involved and its goal of reestablishing a healthy, functioning shoreline and habitat for fish.
“It all started when I saw a newsletter from Friends of the San Juans talking about armoring of beaches and how it degrades the beach, which was a huge shock to me. I want the beach to be able to be here for my grandchildren, for my nieces, nephews and god children—and that’s why we made the decision to contact Friends and see what we could do about this portion of beach,” said Mariluz Villa, the shoreline landowner who is highlighted in this video.
San Juan County-wide there are approximately 700 shoreline bulkheads interrupting natural processes—many of these structures are outdated or unnecessary. This video shares a story of how removal of one of these unneeded structures will benefit the landowners, forage fish and the entire food chain, including the Southern Resident orcas.
Thank you to the private landowners, state and federal funders, and Friends of the San Juans members who helped make this project possible.