October 8, 2012
Most of Woodard Bay NRCA closed November 1 for restoration
Months of work ahead to improve ecosystem function, redevelop public access
OLYMPIA —The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will close much of Woodard Bay Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA) for restoration activities beginning November 1, 2012. The closure has been planned to protect public safety, as earth-moving equipment and trucks will be used for the project. The NRCA is expected to reopen on or before March 1, 2013.
The Overlook Trail on the south side of Woodard Bay NRCA will remain open, with access from the parking area at the terminus of the Chehalis Western Trail.
Earthen fill removal
Contractors will remove roughly 22,000 cubic yards of earthen fill from Woodard Bay at the location of the old trestle that was removed in 2010, improving water circulation in the bay. Contractors also will remove derelict structures from Chapman Bay. This project will restore nearshore processes, improve public access and reduce safety hazards. Fill will be removed by heavy equipment and haul trucks operating from the access road and shoreline. The material will be taken to an offsite disposal location. The project is funded by the state Legislature’s 2012 Jobs Bill, and will cost about $450,000.
When funding is available, DNR plans to establish additional public access to the newly restored areas of the Woodard Bay shoreline. This portion of the site has been closed for more than 20 years to protect public safety.
A separate contractor will remove 500 tons of creosoted material from Chapman Bay Pier. This includes 200 pilings, 9,000 square feet of structure off the north end of the pier, and two trestles jutting off the west side of the pier. These trestles burned in an arson fire 10 years ago and present environmental health and public safety concerns. The project will take place from the water by barge. It is funded by the state Jobs Bill and will cost $250,000.
Pier removal is the third phase of creosoted, overwater structure removal from the conservation area. Previous projects have removed 2,000 tons of creosoted material—the Woodard Bay Trestle, portions of the Chapman Bay Pier, and 600 anchor pilings. By the end of this phase, 50 percent of the pier will be removed. The remaining 50 percent supports summer roost habitat for the largest known maternity colony of bats in Washington State. No additional creosote removal projects are planned at Woodard Bay NRCA for the foreseeable future.
DNR-managed conservation lands
DNR manages 55 natural area preserves (NAPs), which protect high-quality examples of native ecosystems and rare plant and animal species. They serve as genetic reserves for Washington’s native species and as reference sites for comparing natural and altered environments. The 32 natural resources conservation areas (NRCAs) protect lands having high conservation values for ecological systems, scenic qualities, wildlife habitat, and low-impact recreational opportunities. Environmental education and approved research projects occur on both NAPs and NRCAs.
Media Contact: Jane Chavey, Senior Communications Manager, 360-902-1721, email@example.com
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