Port Angeles Harbor

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Port Angeles Harbor is entirely within the City of Port Angeles, and so is governed by City shoreline master planning and comprehensive planning. There is a separate City of Port Angeles page to organize information about the governance and plans associated with the City itself. This page is focused on a broader assessment of the Harbor as a social-ecological system.

The City of Port Angeles submitted their proposed Shoreline Master Program update to Department of Ecology in June 2012, following local approval. The city worked in conjunction with the department of ecology on numerous changes and additions that were needed to complete the Program. On September 3rd, 2014 the City received a complete list of changes required by the Department of Ecology. The following final document contains those changes. The City Council accepted the changes required by the Department of Ecology and locally adopted the Shoreline Master Program on October 21st, 2014.

The Shoreline Master Program will influence what uses and future development are allowed in shoreline areas. The Locally Adopted SMP includes a new system of Shoreline Environment Designations. Vegetation Conservation Areas are identified by shoreline reach, which is also a change from the city's current SMP. The SMP must ensure protection of currently intact waterfront habitat including beaches and bluffs, forests, and sand spits.

Local Ecosystem Planning[edit]

MTCA Cleanup and Natural Resource Damage Assessment[edit]

Areas of harbor-adjacent soils and the marine benthos are affected by dumping and release of wood waste as well as hazardous substances such as PAHs, PCBs, and Heavy Metals.

Biological Assessment[edit]

Limiting Factors[edit]

  • Haring 1999 describes limiting factors for salmon and steelhead in Ennis, Peabody, Valley and Tumwater creeks
    • Valley Creek has been a focus of restoration with estuary reconstruction in 1998. McHenry & Odenweller 1998 describes a conceptual restoration plan. Downstream of highway 101 conditions are hostile to salmon with extensive steep culverts and channel confinement. The system has no less than 30% impervious surface with low wood levels. Salmonids except cutthroat have been extirpated. There is no reported monitoring of Valley Creek estuary use.
    • Tumwater Creek is also affected by urban development with extensive head cutting with winter turbidity. Smolt trapping by WDFW in 1998 found coho and steelhead. The system is extensively modified below 8th street (described as a "shotgun barrel"). Peabody Creek is also severely damaged.
    • Ennis Creek is the smallest of snow-fed streams in the North Olympic, with headwaters in the National Park. Smolt trapping by WDFW in 1998 found Steelhead the most abundant salmonid. White creek is a lowland tributary to Ennis Creek, which has been extensively damaged by urbanization. Peninsula College calculated juvenile salmonid densities for coho, steelhead and cutthroat. Wood abundance is generally poor below RM 3.0. Channel above RM 3.0 is often bedrock and cobble with gravel accumulation dependent on wood structure. Highway 101 runoff is poorly controlled. Fecal loading has been high in the past with observed direct sewer discharge.

Shoreline Armoring[edit]

  • Haring 1999 reported that:
    • approximately 90% of the shoreline between Morse Creek and the Elwha River has been armored.
    • construction of a shoreline trail east of Port Angeles on the old railroad grade retained armoring.
    • in 1930 an industrial water line was buried and armored along feeder bluffs up drift of Ediz Hood, reducing sediment supply from 270,000 yards per year to 40,000 yards per year, potentially affecting the integrity of Ediz Hook. This has resulted in reduced growth of the distal bulb and observable steepening and coarsening of the beach face.
  • Galster & Swartz 1990 provides a case study of Ediz Hook management, and provides estimates of sediment source and rate.