Titlow Beach (SPU 3001) is a short and extensively developed beach and barrier embayment complex, beginning at the Titlow Park divergence and including Titlow lagoon, and ending near a historical barrier lagoon leeward of Day Island. These barrier embayments made this among the largest and most complex beach-embayment systems in Puget Sound, based on the historical length of embayment shoreline, and vegetated wetland area.
Efforts and Workgroups
- SSSEG and PFPS are collaborating with the City of Tacoma in developing a design for the Titlow Lagoon Restoration. This project is part of a series of opportunities for restoration on the BNSF Railroad grade.
PSNERP Strategy Assessment
Cereghino et al 2012 completed a sound-wide analysis to identify and describe the 744 shoreline process units identified by Simenstad et al 2011 that contain bluff-backed beacha beach backed by a bluff, indicating opportunity for waves to recruit sediment. 528 of these systems also contain one or more barrier embayments. The following narrative was developed to support the distribution and use of these assessments:
- Beach Site 3001 is a 1.59 km long beach system containing 628 meters of barrier beacha beach formed in the absence of a eroding bluff through transport (39%) and 2 creek mouths, one of 288 beach sites located in the South Sound Sub-basin. Based on these attributes it ranks 80 out of 100 in terms of size and complexity among all Puget Sound Beach systems. Over five generations of beach development, 74 percent of beach length now has some indicator of sedimentparticles of clay, silt, sand, gravel, or cobble, transported by water, are called sediment. supply degradation, and 53 percent of the nearshore zone has estimated impervious levels higher than 10 percent. Property boundaries now legally segment the shoreline with an average of one property every 49 meters. Based on these metrics, this site ranks 78 out of 100 in terms of estimated degradation among all beach sites in Puget Sound. The PSNERP Strategy Analysis places this site in Degradation Group D15, a very large group of 247 sites with very high levels of sedimentparticles of clay, silt, sand, gravel, or cobble, transported by water, are called sediment. supply degradation and average to above average levels of shoreline development. Based on this grouping we recommend this site for a enhancement-based strategy, where due to extensive development and degradation, the likelihood of restoring ecosystem processes is low, and efforts should focus first on mitigating development impacts, and strategically protecting and restoration critical habitat functions for key species. The site faces no risk from jetty development impounding sedimentparticles of clay, silt, sand, gravel, or cobble, transported by water, are called sediment., has moderate impacts from active shoreline railroad, and faces a moderate risk from predicted future population growth.
- This site is among 518 littoral cells that contained barrier-type embayments. Historically this system contained 2 barrier-type embayments, with an embayment shoreline of 3.49 km, encompassing 27.8 hectares of tidal wetlands - considering the length of beach this is the equivalent of one embayment every 0.7 km. This system is one among 179 barrier embayment complexes in the South Sound Sub-basin. Based on these metrics this site ranks 96 out of 100 in terms of size and complexity among all Puget Sound barrier embayment systems. The PSNERP Strategy Analysis placed this site in Potential Group P9, a large group of 69 sites with large embayments and wetlands at a typical density, identified as noteworthy sites for their high potential to provide ecosystem services.
- Site 3001 currently has 2 embayments--the same as under historical conditions. This has been accompanied by a 58 percent loss of wetland area and a 75 percent loss of embayment length, based on comparison to historic maps. 92 percent of the remaining embayment shoreline length has evidence of shoreline modification. Based on these metrics, and the general development status of the drift cell, the PSNERP Strategy Analysis ranked this system 92 out of 100 and placed this site in Degradation Group D9, a medium group of 39 of the most degraded barrier embayment systems, with very high shoreline modification following extensive loss of length, in moderately to highly developed drift cells. Based on this grouping, the site is recommended for a enhancement-based approach, where due to extensive development and degradation, the likelihood of restoring ecosystem processes is low, and efforts should focus first on mitigating development impacts, and strategically protecting and restoration critical habitat functions for key species.