If you haven't built on the land yet, site your home as far back from the water as possible. This will help prevent erosion concerns.Exposed bluff at West Beach, Whidbey Island, Island County.
Learn About Your Land
Know The Risks
Where your home and land is located will make a big difference in how you the experience the Sound. Life on a high bluff with a sweeping view of the Sound is very different from that on a low bank or rocky shore, where the water's not far from your door.
Bluffs are products of thousands of years of erosion. Many bluffs are still eroding slowly and the sand that comes from those bluffs nourishes nearby beaches. Some bluffs can be hit by landslides and other major erosion events that can be unsettling and are sometimes dangerous to waterfront dwellers.
Low banks provide easy beach access and are generally associated with sandy beaches or mud flats. The materials that make sand spits and beaches come directly from eroding bluffs or possibly from a river mouth nearby. Houses on low banks may be more subject to wind and wave damage, flooding and sometimes severe erosion. Mud beaches usually indicate a more sheltered area where wind and waves are not a problem, but flooding may still occur.
Rocky shores are made of bedrock and boulders too large to be moved by waves. These shores contain some of the richest habitats in Puget Sound, supporting an array of marine life. This environment generally has no erosion problems.
Beach Watchers - Island County, Washington State University. Trained volunteers dedicated to protecting and preserving the fragile environment of Island County & Puget Sound waters through education and public awareness.
Beach Assessment Program - King County, Department of Natural Resources. Data collected by volunteers provides valuable information about the marine life on King County beaches.
Central Puget Sound Watershed - King County, King County. Includes those areas draining into small creeks that flow directly into Puget Sound, and includes Vashon Island.
Comments? E-mail: Shellyne Grisham