As you look across Puget Sound you will notice a variety of characteristics – homes, docks, boats, marinas, restaurants, beaches and even hotels – what do these things have in common? – they’re all located in the nearshore environment.
The nearshore is the band of land between dry land and deep water, and is home to numerous aquatic species, habitats, and vegetation. This area serves as a migratory corridor for salmon, forage fish, and spawning grounds for many important species we depend on. As steward of 2.6 million acres of aquatic lands, DNR is tasked with the responsibility of ensuring this vital aquatic environment stays healthy while still providing public access and recreation opportunities.
One way that we can help keep the nearshore environment healthy is the use of green bulkheads. Bulkheads are typically concrete walls that are used to keep structures and sediments in place from eroding and falling into the water. While bulkheads are necessary for waterfront properties, they’re also a hindrance to the natural ecological processes of beach environments. Sediment distribution is needed from bluffs and hilltops to keep the beaches sandy and the nearshore environment intact.
What can you do? Instead of lining property with concrete bulkheads, try planting native vegetation, or “green bulkheads.” Plant roots help keep sediments in place and still allow natural beach processes to continue. The native vegetation will also look nice.
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