Tidal Channel Restoration Guidelines

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This project addressed the lack of local tidal channel reference data to efficiently design restoration of barrier embayments in Puget Sound. This project systematically inventoried the tidal channel geometry of functional barrier embayments, collecting field and remote sensed data from a subset of these barrier embayment systems, and conducting a regression analysis to determine the best predictor of channel geometry. The project outcome was guidelines for appropriately sizing tidal channels for restoration projects based on empirically derived models which describe the relationship between primary tidal channel geometry and tidal prism.


  • Data collection for the study began in 2017. Topographic/bathymetric and discharge data were collected at 11 locations across Puget Sound (in situ).
  • Desktop data analysis was completed between 2018 and 2019 on in situ data as well as with other sites using remote sensed data.
  • In 2019 a large number of sites were visited and topographic data only was collected, these site visits were used to determine final sites for data collection in 2020.
  • Data was also used from work previously completed by Skagit River Systems Cooperative.

Related Materials[edit]


  • PSNERP tidal channel restoration guidelines were based on studies in San Francisco Bay.
  • San Francisco Bay data are not fully applicable to Puget Sound. Tidal channels in Puget Sound have different geometry than channels in San Francisco Bay due to different sediment composition, larger tide ranges, greater rainfall, and salinity distribution and plants (Hood 2007,Hood 2002).
  • Tidal channel and embayment from local data used to conduct a regression analysis and develop hydraulic geometry scaling relationships.

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