Ala Spit Armor Removal




CITY, COUNTY: Whidbey Island, Island County


Project Summary

Ala Spit, on the northeastern shore of Whidbey Island, is an important habitat for juvenile salmon and forage fish, but was damaged by alterations. Installation of a concrete retaining wall, or shoreline armor, in the 1960s has thinned and steepened the beach, causing loss of nearshore habitat spawning areas for forage fish and harming the pocket estuary that shelters young salmon. The Ala Spit restoration project removed the shoreline armor and improved conditions for large driftwood and logs to lodge on the beach. The large woody debris helps to stabilize sediment and bring back a healthier beach.


Key Actions

  • 0.15 miles of shoreline armor removed
  • 1.7 miles of shoreline enhanced



  • Beach nourishment, or substrate added to the beach, offers spawning habitat for forage fish
  • Forage fish (herring, sand lance, surf smelt) are an essential food for juvenile salmon, marine birds, and marine mammals
  • Removal of shoreline armoring allows recreational access to the beach, reconnects sediment sources to the beach, and makes room for woody debris that provide shelter for birds


Project Partners

  • Island County
  • Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration (PSAR) Fund


Project Cost: $1,053,323 total, including $336,991 PSAR contribution

Leave a Reply

Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: