Jefferson: Strong opinions about how Chimacum Creek Estuary beach should be restored

CHIMACUM — A state plan to restore the Chimacum Creek Estuary beach in Irondale is running into opposition from people who want a path carved along the sandy beach.

At a meeting Tuesday night at the Tri-Area Community Center in Chimacum, flared tempers arose during discussion about access to the estuary.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife want to see a pure, restored beach as it was before being reshaped by man a century ago.

That view doesn’t include a road or walking path, watershed steward Randy Johnson said.

But Fish and Wildlife officials say they will consider the idea before coming back to the community with a final restoration plan.

Construction equipment could be moved in by late summer to start the work.

Five-year effort

Efforts to restore Chimacum Beach and the estuary have been around for about five years, Johnson said.

The site is located adjacent to a county park where Moore Street meets Port Townsend Bay in Irondale.

Land owned by Fish and Wildlife extends out about 300 feet east from the bluff, stretching north and south from Moore Street to the estuary.

Most of that land is fill, used to create a log storage yard that was active until about seven years ago, Johnson said.

A dirt road now travels along the fill next to the bluff. The unofficial street was formally vacated by the county last year.

Where most of the road now lies, Fish and Wildlife wants to pile the clean fill into a “bench” that will slowly erode to help re-create the beach and estuary, Johnson said.

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