Designer: James Graham
Contractor: Ravenhill Construction
This property is located among a series of single-family residential parcels on Fisherman Bay on Lopez Island. The area is flat with a relatively low-energy shoreline. An old creosoted wood bulkhead, built originally to create additional dry land, extended the length of shoreline. It was deteriorating with significant erosion occurring behind and beneath the structure.
In conjunction with remodeling the house, and on the advice of the Washington Dept. of Ecology, the owners decided not to rebuild the bulkhead, but rather to replace it with a more natural shoreline. The creosote boards were pulled out and hauled away. Old fill from behind the bulkhead was removed and re-sloped to match the natural beach. A layer of 4-inch rocks was laid down with boulders and logs in the beach area, followed by layers of gravel and sand.
The distance that the renovated house was set back from the ordinary high water mark met local regulations. Although most of the original bulkhead was removed, a small portion was retained and some rock revetment added to protect the roots of several large trees at the south end of the shoreline. Overall, the site qualified as ≥75% net bulkhead removal.
While the riparian area above the rehabilitated beach was not planted with native vegetation, the trees on the south end of the shoreline were retained and provided the benefits of overhanging vegetation. These trees were greater than 4 inches in diameter at breast height (DBH). Woody material in the form of short logs and root wads was added to mimic naturally occurring wood. A pier extending out from the south end of the property is wood plank, but the dock at the end of the pier is covered in grating that allows light to transmit through, and there is no lighting on any of the overwater structures.
On the 27,250 ft2 property, 4,350 ft2 or 16% is covered in impervious surfaces – small enough to achieve 2 points. No paints or stains were used on the overwater structures, and a number of creosoted pilings were removed and disposed of in a safe manner as part of the bulkhead removal.
The owners kindly allowed this property to be used in testing early versions of the GSH credit and rating system, and in training GSH verifiers.