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Puget Sound is home to many beautiful waterfront homes and vibrant marine ecosystems. Of all waterfront counties, Kitsap has the 2nd longest marine shoreline length, the highest number of residential waterfront parcels, and the highest amount of existing hard armor (i.e. bulkheads, revetments, rockeries). Studies have shown that among residential waterfront properties, 48% have some sort of bulkhead structure on their property. What we have come to find out in recent years with more advanced technology and in-depth studies, is that most Puget Sound beaches have low to moderate erosion rates, which means having a bulkhead may not always be necessary and in some cases, may even make erosion worse.
This discovery has led many waterfront homeowners in low-erosion zones to consider removing their bulkhead and look into alternative options. Making this change is not only helpful for homeowners, but for wildlife too! Shorelines are a habitat for many delicate marine organisms like salmon, crabs, snails, seabirds, and forage fish such as surf smelt, pacific herring, and sand lance.
All shoreline development in Puget Sound is regulated. That means all shoreline projects, including bulkhead removals or soft shore protection installations need permits from your local jurisdiction (county or city), the state (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife/WDFW), and most likely the federal agencies.
Every project is unique, which is why Shore Friendly Kitsap is here to help. To get started, please check out the bulkhead removal and soft shore stabilization information below. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!