An excavator moves dirt and sand on Ediz Hook on Friday at the former site of the Olympic Peninsula Rowing Association’s boat house at the edge of Port Angeles Harbor. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

An excavator moves dirt and sand on Ediz Hook on Friday at the former site of the Olympic Peninsula Rowing Association’s boat house at the edge of Port Angeles Harbor. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Lower Elwha restoration project in progress

Work is to improve wildlife habitat, recreation

PORT ANGELES — The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe is conducting a beach restoration project at the former Olympic Rowing Club site on Ediz Hook through mid-August.

The tribe’s restoration crew will remove existing piers and shoreline armoring such as concrete, creosote beams, riprap and metal, said Tiffany Royal, Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission spokesperson.

The area will be restored with logs and clean beach sand. A former building pad and parking area will be removed and prepped to be planted with native dune grass in 2022.

About 1,500 yards of clean sand will be used at the rowing club site, and another 2,500 yards will be placed east of the site. The tides will help push sand into the beach to further restore it at a natural rate.

“The project is designed to improve habitat for forage fish and marine birds, improve salmon migration corridors and facilitate human recreation opportunities,” said Mike McHenry, the tribe’s fisheries habitat manager.

Following completion, vehicles will be excluded from parking on the restored site.

“The stewardship demonstrated by the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe for this critical nearshore habitat is unsurpassed,” said Nathan West, Port Angeles city manager.

“This work continues to result in the repair and removal of multiple industrial-era structures and features that saw decades of neglect. These restorative actions along Ediz Hook have resulted in enhancements to the experiences of community members and visitors alike as they learn, explore and recreate.”

The project site will be defined by cones and barriers, and the Olympic Discovery waterfront trail along Ediz Hook will not be blocked except when trucks enter or exit.

The bike lane on the south side of the spit will not be affected by the work.

The rowing club recently moved an overwater structure on the site upland. The organization did not have the funding to restore the beach, so it partnered with the tribe, which secured a grant from the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery fund.

The Port of Port Angeles also is donating several dozen log booms for use on the project.

This is the fourth restoration effort conducted in the past two decades on the south shore of Ediz Hook, and it’s a cooperative project between the tribe, rowing club and city.

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