Beach Strategies for Nearshore Restoration and Protection in Puget Sound

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This two-phase project aims to develop science-based strategies to guide future protection and restoration efforts on Puget Sound beaches. In Phase 1, completed in 2017, data were assessed and compiled, data gaps were filled, and an integrated geodatabase was established. In Phase 2, the best available data generated in Phase 1 will be organized and analyzed to provide nearshore recovery practitioners with a suite of tools to guide their decision making.

Prior to the initiation of the Beach Strategies project, existing strategies were found to be insufficient; the spatial resolution was coarse, there were many gaps and errors, and they did not adequately reflect the new challenges faced by local governments and restoration groups. The outputs of the Beach Strategies project included data sets of higher spatial resolution and accuracy that will enable improved tracking of Puget Sound Vital Signs (shoreline armor and armored feeder bluffs) and more effective strategy development and implementation. The strategies that emerge from this project will guide improved protection of nearshore ecosystems, more informed choices about where and how to restore and conserve beaches, and more scientific approaches to monitoring shoreline conditions and vital signs.

The objectives of the early tasks in Phase 2 entail providing a conceptual foundation for the development of updated Beach Strategies and later GIS queries and data outputs. The refined strategies should reflect the practical needs and values of the end-user community and improve upon past strategies by employing new data (including those updated in Phase 1 of this project) and analytical techniques at improved spatial resolution(s), while applying the principles and values of an ecosystem-based management approach In Phase 2, we have worked to better understand end-user needs, and have used the Phase 1 data to develop an evaluation framework to guide end-users to high-benefit restoration and conservation opportunities that reflect their objectives. Currently we are sharing the draft outputs of the evaluation framework with end-users. We will use their feedback to refine the GIS metrics, to further explore spatial patterns in the data, to display data in meaningful ways, and to develop guidance for effective use of the outputs.

We hope that together these new products will better enable partners to effectively collaborate, make more informed decisions, and ultimately achieve more nearshore restoration and conservation of Puget Sound beach systems. The Beach Strategies project currently consists of two phases, though later elements may be added to produce a third phase of the project. The content of Phase 3 will be based on the results of Phase 2, combined with feedback and collaborations with potential end-users of the data products.

CGS BeachStrategies WeAreHere.jpg


Phase 1 Products

Armor Assessment

A compilation and assessment of the most up-to-date shore armor data. Data sources were evaluated for quality, coverage, data resolution, and eventually used to rank areas for updated armor mapping.

Beach Strategies Workshop

A workshop was hosted with potential end-users of Beach Strategies data to better understand the types of questions that would be asked to identify regional beach restoration and protection of priority areas.

Beach Strategy Geodatabase

This task entailed applying refinements to several nearshore data sets including: • Updated shore armor mapping (with year/method of data collection) • Comprehensive shoretypes (including armored shores and pocket beaches) • Updated net shore-drift cells with linear referencing routes (for spatial analysis) • Fetch and erosion potential • Comprehensive shoreline parcel database

A breif, 15-minute video tour of the Beach Strategies spatial data is available on the Coastal Geologic Services YouTube page.

An example of a possible data use scenario is pictured below. This example illustrates how updated armor mapping completed as part of the Beach Strategies project can be used to quickly highlight areas of failing or derelict armor and associate them with adjacent parcels to guide restoration and outreach efforts (this mapping was only updated in selected areas, and is not available Sound-wide. More updated mapping is proposed for Phase 2). These data scenarios, referred to as "baseball cards", were part of the project deliverables (2 total). The completed files, with descriptive text, can be found on the PRISM site (link below).

An example of a data-use scenario involving updated armor mapping as part of the Beach Strategies Project.

Reporting and Geodatabase User’s Guide

The Phase 1 report describes all elements of Phase 1 tasks in detail, including assessment methods, database refinement, and results of the beach strategy development process. The geodatabase includes all data layers developed and compiled for the project, with metadata. The User’s Guide is succinct (less than 20 pages) and clearly outlines data sources, explains how to link with previous beach strategies, and details methods used to incorporate new data.

Part 1 was completed at the end of 2017. Read the report here:

To download the Phase 1 report: File:CGS ESRP BeachStrategies SummaryReport 20171025.pdf

To download the Phase 1 Report Appendices (A-G) File:CGS ESRP BeachStrategies SummaryReportAppendices 20171025.pdf

Appendix A: GIS User Guide Appendix B: Summary of Feature Classes

Appendix C: Puget Sound Historical Feeder Bluff Mapping Methods

Appendix D: Puget Sound Historical Feeder Bluff Mapping Results

Appendix E: Puget Sound Historical Feeder Bluff Mapping Summary

Appendix F: Puget Sound Armor Assessment Memo

Appendix G: Puget Sound Armor Maps for Jefferson and Mason Counties

Phase 2 Products

Outreach Memo: Summary of results of outreach efforts to end-users Coastal Geomorphology Summit: Guiding Principles for Beach Restoration


Notes