New round of grant funding advances city’s beach restoration project

Courtesy of the city of Blaine

By Stefanie Donahue

California-based Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment awarded $20,000 to the city of Blaine to advance a project to build a new public beach bordering Marine Park.

California-based Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment awarded $20,000 to the city of Blaine to advance a project to build a new public beach bordering Marine Park.

Blaine community development director Michael Jones shared the news with Blaine City Council during a regular meeting on January 22. He said, “This will not be for doing work, but for actually developing the engineering plans for the next phases of that work down there, which hopefully makes us have a shovel-ready project for potentially moving us ahead on other things.”

Blaine community planner Alex Wenger applied for the grant last October and said he received the good news from Rose Foundation in November.

“The vision is a new public beach to the Marine Park Playground and Lighthouse Point Water Reclamation Facility that will provide residents and visitors access to the water’s edge,” he said.

Courtesy of the city of Blaine

The first phase of the project was completed in 2015 and received $50,000 from the Washington State Department of Ecology and $45,000 from the city, in addition to labor and equipment. An estimated 400 feet of shoreline at Telescope Beach in Marine Park was cleaned up during phase one, due in part by volunteer effort put forth by the Salishan Neighborhood Association, Friends of Marine Park and Drayton Harbor Maritime.

The shoreline bordering Marine Park was once a dump site and spans about 3,000 feet; it was created out of large pieces of concrete and quarry rock in the 1960s. The project aims to reduce pollution by capping the garbage with clay and installing material more typical of a Pacific Northwest beach. Additional improvements address native fish and vegetation.

“The reconstructed shoreline will enhance the environment by creating upland native vegetation, improving spawning habitat for forage fish and keep historic waste from entering the waters of Boundary Bay and Drayton Harbor,” reads the city’s project description. “The recreational opportunities will also be significantly increased as the hazardous jumble of concrete slabs and rebar will be replaced with a naturalized shoreline.”

Over the next several months, the city will hire a consultant to design an engineering plan for phase two. The city must also obtain Shoreline Substantial Development, US Army Corps of Engineers and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife permits.

Wenger said the Shoreline Substantial Development permit requires the city to begin construction within two years of approval, so staff will likely wait to obtain it.

To learn more about the city’s beach restoration project, visit


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