Howarth Park beach to close for 4 months

EVERETT — One of Everett’s most popular beaches is set for a temporary closure this fall to make way for a project to benefit people and fish.

The work will remove a bulkhead at Howarth Park. It also involves replenishing sand at up to three other spots along the beach between the Mukilteo city limits and the Port of Everett.

Construction is scheduled to begin in November and last about four months.

“We’re going to increase the beach area for people and also for salmon habitat,” said Kathleen Herrmann, who heads up marine-resource issues at Snohomish County’s Public Works Department.

Anyone who wants to learn more can attend a meeting scheduled from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 215 W Mukilteo Blvd., Everett.

Marine experts have been studying the project for about three years as a way to boost the survival of threatened Puget Sound chinook salmon and forage fish.

Armored rail lines built along the bottom of Snohomish County’s coastal bluffs in the late 1800s disrupted the natural processes that deposit sediment along the beach, according to the county. As a result, the shoreline is too steep to provide the shallow, protective habitat on which juvenile salmon and forage fish depend.

For the restoration work, the Army Corps of Engineers plans to use dredged sediment from the Snohomish River. Crews also will remove the bulkhead at Howarth Park and bury it beneath the sand.

Beyond chinook and forage fish, a major goal of the restoration is to support the food web for orcas, seals, birds and other marine life. It should lessen erosion as well.

Local, state and federal governments are coordinating the work with conservation groups. Playing a key role is the county’s volunteer Marine Resources Advisory Committee with guidance from the federally funded Northwest Straits Commission.

The project is being funded with nearly $1.4 million in grants. Everett and Snohomish County also have contributed about $100,000 combined.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465, nhaglund@heraldnet.com.

Learn more about the project to improve the Howarth Park beachfront

When: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday

Where: Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 215 W Mukilteo Blvd., Everett

More info: Contact Kathleen Herrmann, Watershed

Steward, kathleen.herrmann@snoco.org, 425-388-6414.

Mailing address: Snohomish County Public Works, Surface

Water Management, 3000 Rockefeller Avenue, M/S 607,

Everett, WA 98201.

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