Outdated and unnecessary dikes, berms and ditches that once clogged a marine wetland along Lopez’s Fisherman Bay were removed last week through a collaborative effort led by Friends of the San Juans, in partnership with the San Juan County Land Bank and two private waterfront property owners.
“The flow of tidal water, habitat for juvenile fish and other species, nutrients and woody debris are now improved through the restoration of the natural grade, vegetation, and connectivity between the salt marsh and the waters of Fisherman Bay,” said Tina Whitman, science director with Friends of the San Juans.
Next steps include replanting native trees and shrubs to enhance the wetland buffer and installation of an interpretive panel on the value of connected coastal wetlands at the publicly accessible Fisherman Bay Spit Preserve.
Friends of the San Juans worked with Coastal Geologic Services of Bellingham on project design. Local contractors Rain Shadow Consulting, based on Orcas, and Midnight’s Farm, based on Lopez, implemented the restoration actions. Funding was provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Rose Foundation for Community and the Environment, a participating landowner, and Friends of the San Juans’ members.
Friends of the San Juans works to protect and restore the San Juans for people and nature. Friends provides technical assistance to landowners, identifies and implements habitat restoration projects throughout the islands. For more information contact Tina Whitman, Friends’ Science Director or visit our website www.sanjuans.org.