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Posted on: July 28, 2022

San Juan County Announces Start of Mackaye Harbor Shoreline Restoration Project

Machaye Harbor shoreline restoration project site 2019

SAN JUAN COUNTY, WA. July 28, 2022 – San Juan County is pleased to announce the beginning of the Mackaye Harbor Boat Ramp and Shoreline Restoration Project. The month of work is slated to remove all shoreline armor from the beach in an effort to restore spawning habitat for surf smelt and sand lance – two key feeder fish for endangered Chinook salmon. The project will also allow for improved beach access for the public.

Project Background:

In the 1960s, a road was built on the Mackaye Harbor beach to access a sand quarry where the present boat launch is now located. The road was never fully removed and armor from the road is still on the bank and beach, occupying the space where sand and gravel should be to provide spawning habitat for key feeder fish. Removing the old armor and restoring the beach to its former sandy habitat has been a long-awaited project. Starting in 2018, San Juan County’s Environmental Stewardship Department began plans for restoring the beach by removing boulders, nourishing the beach with a mix of sand and gravel, and promoting a healthy habitat that will benefit the Chinook salmon and ultimately the local Southern Resident Killer Whale population.

Why Now?

San Juan County received grant funding from the Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration fund and the Estuary Salmon Restoration Program. Combined with matching funds from the County, the $270,150 project gets underway in August with the help of A1 Marine LLC, a San Juan Island-based marine construction company.

What to Expect:

• The boat launch will remain open during non-construction work weeks. (see next page)

• Norman Rd and the boat launch will be closed to traffic and pedestrians during the construction work weeks. (see next page)

• Construction work is expected begin around 7am on slated days.

Find a Project Fact Sheet Here:

Proposed Work Schedule for Mackaye Harbor Boat Ramp And Shoreline Restoration Project

August 8 - 9, 2022: Mobilization of equipment to site

August 10 – 15, 2022: Site Work - Removal of shore revetment and dense rock cover; Set aside large angular armor rock and quarry spalls for rock wall; Excavation for and construction of rock wall; Barging in materials

August 16 - 22, 2022: No work- site can be open to the public

August 23 - 28, 2022: Site Work - Remove any remaining material; Place all materials; Barge in any additional materials

August 29 - September 4, 2022: No work - site can be open to the public

September 6 - 10, 2022: Contingency dates for any remaining work; Inspection; Site clean up

Work will begin at 7:00a.m. on all work days and continue until tide prohibits equipment operating on the beach (around 2:00pm). The boat launch will be closed during the construction work weeks

Media Contact: Byron Rot, Environmental Stewardship Project Manager, 360-550-1211,

About San Juan County’s Department of Environmental Stewardship

San Juan County’s Department of Environmental Stewardship is responsible for solid waste, marine resources, clean water, cultural resources, and climate and sustainability work. The department offices are located at 915 Spring Street, Friday Harbor, WA 98250. For more information about San Juan County’s Department of Environmental Stewardship, visit


PDF Version HERE.

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