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Where the Water Begins Workshops & Beach Tours 2022

Shore Friendly provides education, tools, and assessments for exploring bulkhead removal and armor alternatives. Read on to see if Shore Friendly can help you!

Where the Water Begins Workshop #1

 FREE workshop and beach tour! Sign up today!

Where the Water Begins Workshop #2

 FREE workshop and beach tour! Sign up today!

Where the Water Begins Online Class

 KCD has provided this online learning module on Shoreline Homeownership.

What are these workshops?

Do you live along the King County marine shoreline?

Want to know more about the unique location of your home and how to improve ecological function while supporting your needs? Join us for KCD’s FREE Where the Water Begins workshop and beach tour. Our knowledgeable guest presenters will provide insight on geology, ecology and vegetation management specific to your beach or bluff property.

Topics covered during these workshops include:

  • Geologic History of Puget Sound Shorelines
  • Coastal Bluff Processes, Beach Formation and Longshore Drift
  • Unique fish and wildlife species of the Puget Sound
  • Alternatives to bulkheads and armoring
  • Managing trees and shrubs for views
  • Utilizing plants to manage water, stabilize slopes, and create wildlife habitat on your property
  • Landscaping practices that improve or weaken slope stability
  • Invasive weed control and Native plant selection

After presentations commence, journey to the beach to see examples of the topics discussed in person on our guided beach walk!

Schedule:
9:00am – 12:30pm – Indoor Session
1:00pm – 3:00pm – Optional Beach Walk

* Beach walk will include walking and standing on uneven surfaces for up to 2 hours.

Sign up to attend one of our 2022 Where the Water Begins workshops and beach walks today!

Vashon – May 14, 2022

https://kingcd.org/eventbrite-event/where-the-water-begins-vashon/

Federal Way – May 21, 2022

https://kingcd.org/eventbrite-event/where-the-water-begins-federal-way/

These videos explore the history of our shorelines, the role they play in our marine ecosystems, and the benefits of soft shore alternatives.

Coastal Beaches and Bluffs

Managing Shoreline Erosion: Bulkheads or Natural Solutions

Restoring the Connection Between Land and Water

Frequently Asked Questions
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Aren't bulkheads required for safety?

Not usually. Despite common belief, bulkheads are often not needed to protect properties from wave action. If your home and infrastructure are set back from the water, your bulkhead may not be needed – and may be contributing to erosion issues and poor habitat on your beach as well as your neighbors’ beaches. Shore Friendly brings technical assistance to homeowners seeking a greater understanding about if their bulkhead is needed and if it is, could a less damaging alternative be used instead. Sign up for a free site visit today to explore your options!

Isn't it expensive to remove my bulkhead?

Shoreline projects can be expensive, but working with professionals who understand the problem can minimize cost and complexity. Shore Friendly can help pay for design work and help you find funding sources that might offset the cost of construction.

What about my neighbors?

Your Shore Friendly consultation will include consideration of your neighbor’s property and coastal processes along your shoreline. We can explore designs that maintain your neighbor’s existing conditions, or explore working with neighbors to consider removing multiple bulkheads. 

What about climate change?

Most existing bulkheads were not designed for rising sea levels or stronger storm surges – and raising them rarely solves the problem. The licensed engineers and geologists that partner with Shore Friendly use sea level rise modeling as part of their assessment for bulkhead removal designs to ensure that bulkhead alternatives are ready for today and tomorrow’s shoreline conditions.

What is soft-shore design?

Soft-shore design, also called living shoreline design, seeks to use natural elements such as berms, wood and native beach plantings to protect homes in place of hard armor such as rock bulkheads or cement walls. These designs are strategically engineered to provide protection while improving habitat. You can learn more here.

How do I get permits for my project?

Local, state, and federal permits can be complicated for any project. Homeowners are often attracted to Shore Friendly for the guidance we can provide in navigating the permit requirements for their project. In addition, Washington’s regulations require homeowners to consider the least impactful options for any shoreline project. Shore Friendly can help you identify those options!

Will my property value change?

Most homeowners (and buyers) prefer the easier access to the shoreline and natural beaches that soft shore designs provide compared to hard armor. If removing a bulkhead is technically feasible, this is a great way for both your family and future homeowners to enjoy the shoreline. 

If I can't remove my bulkhead, is there anything else I can do?
Yes! You can still manage your vegetation to increase shade over the water, and provide pollinator-friendly native plants, which are also helpful in reducing erosion and stabilizing steep slopes over time. Many invasive plants such as ivy and blackberry decrease the biodiversity of your landscape and make erosion difficult to spot until it’s too late. Restoring native vegetation with deep and complex root systems improves bluff and bank stability and is also beneficial to wildlife. We can also review with you the way that surface water (from rain and irrigation) moves across your property, and consider opportunities to help minimize runoff and erosion. Learn more on our Additional Resources page!

Bulkhead Removal

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Soft Shore

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