Boulevard Park Intertidal Monitoring
The beach at Boulevard Park on Bellingham Bay has recently undergone significant modifications to reduce shoreline erosion. The concrete rubble that has been used for armoring has been removed and a new sand and gravel beach created.
The MRC partnered with RE Sources for Sustainable Communities to conduct intertidal monitoring surveys, prior to and after the modifications, to measure and monitor the diversity, distribution, and abundance of intertidal species within the park beaches.
One survey approach consisted of trained volunteers using a modified Beach Watchers protocol for sampling benthic invertebrates. Assessment and monitoring methods were based on those established by the Washington State University Beach Watcher Intertidal Monitoring Program.
The second survey approach included a comprehensive survey (phase II/ Year 2) of infaunal invertebrates conducted by Dr. Brian Bingham of Western Washington University (WWU). This survey was completed in July 2014.
The monitoring provides baseline data for detection of changes following the beach modifications and include data from a portion of the beach that had not been armored and was not modified. Information can be used to assess the impacts of shoreline modification and for natural resource damage assessment, protection of critical habitats, and management of protected species.