By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News
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Demolition crews wrapped up their work razing the restaurant last week at the site bordering the north end of Sequim-Dungeness Way along Dungeness Bay, said Jamie Michel, project manager for the North Olympic Salmon Coalition.
The work is the first major step in a larger salmon-coalition-led effort to restore habitat on the Dungeness River estuary, in which the 3 Crabs building once stood, Michel explained.
The restoration project also would restore nearby Meadowbrook Creek estuary habitat, realign a stretch of Sequim-Dungeness Way and provide public beach access off the former restaurant property.
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife bought the 3 Crabs property in October for $1 million from former owner Norma Marshall.
The purchases totaled 52 acres, the majority of which is tidelands, and the building itself, Michel said.
Crews with 3 Kings Environmental, based in Battle Ground, demolished all the above-ground structures over seven days for about $40,000, Michel said.
The money paid by the salmon coalition came from grants, most received from the state Recreation and Conservation Office, Michel said.
The foundation will linger until at least 2015, Michel said, while the specifics of a complete restoration plan for the area is designed, a process expected to take most of 2014.
Removing the foundation will require specific land disturbance permits, Michel explained, so the work will be on hold until permission for all the land disturbance needed for the restoration can be obtained.
$3.8 million restoration
All told, Michel said, the coalition expects to spend about $3.8 million to restore a portion of the Dungeness River delta to allow salmon, birds and other wildlife to recolonize the estuary habitat.
Michel said salmon coalition staff have conducted two community meetings on how restoration should move forward and are planning a third for next year.
“I anticipate our next [meeting] will be probably be January sometime,” Michel said.
So far, the restoration effort would include removal of a former concrete boat ramp just north of the old restaurant and removal of about 950 feet of shoreline and stream-bank armoring, Michel said.
The fill the restaurant property sits on also would be removed and 5 acres of underlying land recontoured to achieve a more natural layout, Michel said.
A stretch of nearby Meadowbrook Creek would be realigned and large woody debris placed along its banks to encourage habitat growth, he added.
A portion of Sequim-Dungeness Way also will be removed, with roadside pole-mounted power lines placed underground, and reconnected to 3 Crabs Road likely across Meadowbrook Creek, Michel said, though an exact route for the new road has not been determined.
The restoration effort is one of the larger projects the salmon coalition has undertaken, Michel said, with other major restoration work also completed along Morse Creek and the southern shore of Discovery Bay.
Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.