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City’s waterfront projects abound

Habitat restoration is a key goal at park sites around Eagle Harbor.

With its varying history and terrain, Blakely Harbor is by far the most complex of the city’s myriad planned shoreline projects, according to city shoreline planner Peter Best.

“There are a lot of unknowns there,” he said.

There are several less-tricky projects in the works elsewhere, though, that are at various stages of planning or completion. They include:

Pritchard Park: Restoration efforts at the Wyckoff Superfund site have been ongoing since the former creosote plant there closed in 1988, and further work is on the way.

Ideas for the park itself are being mulled by a citizen committee, the city, the park district and the Environmental Protection Agency.

A study of the grounds by University of Washington graduate students was recently completed with the goal of generating ideas about how to integrate the park’s different elements in concert with larger park improvements and progress at the still-developing Japanese Internment Memorial.

Additionally, the city hopes to remove 415 feet of shoreline armoring and 13,000 square feet of intertidal fill.

The goal of the project is to finish restoring a portion of the beach that the EPA didn’t finish as part of its earlier work.

Plans call for restoring the riparian forest and beach habitat for fish spawning that were displaced by the armoring.

The project also will clean up debris, including bricks left over from a former brick factory at the site.

Restoring the forest would mean the loss of some trees in the area that was filled in behind the rip-rap. It also would require the existing gravel path above the shoreline to be moved back.

The $100,000 project is scheduled for construction in 2009 and, like the Blakely Harbor study, would be funded by grant money and matching funds from the Eagle Harbor/Wyckoff Superfund Site Trustee Council.

Milwaukee Dock: Located off the eastern shore of Pritchard Park, the former dock site is surrounded on three sides by eelgrass beds. The land was dredged to build the dock, and is now barren. The project would repair the damage and restore approximately five-acres of eelgrass habitat.

Strawberry Plant: As the name suggests, the property once housed a strawberry operation and then a business complex that eventually burned down.

Located at the south end of Weaver Road, the facility utilized over-water structures and intertidal fill when it was in operation.

Planners hope to remove two artificial peninsulas, among other improvements designed to restore habitat and make the land into a park.

Construction is scheduled for 2008.

Waterfront Park: Planners hope to create a beach by removing the existing bulkhead and importing gravel and driftwood. They believe doing so will restore the area to a more natural state and improve it for both people and fish.

The plan would remove part of the park’s waterfront trail, and has drawn criticism from some in the liveaboard community.

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