Washington is famous for its gorgeous and abundant waterways, from the Salish Sea to the Nisqually River, but many communities lack open public beaches and waterfronts where everyone can enjoy picnicking, swimming, paddling, boating, and angling. Water Access projects fund public shoreline access, boat launches, and fishing docks to create more opportunities for water recreation.
In January 2021 the City of Edmonds completed the Waterfront Redevelopment Project which included removing an aged creosote parking pier that extended over the beach. Removal of the pier included significant removal of hazardous material including over 50 creosote coated pilings and 4,305 cubic yards of contaminated soil. The new parking area features significant LID improvements including a 260% increase in pervious surface and on-site treatment of 100% of the stormwater runoff through the use of two bioretention cells and two concrete bioretention planters. Beachfront that was previously covered by the creosote pier has been replaced with natural elements to include boulders, logs and native plantings in support of wildlife and fish habitat (specifically Sand Lance and Surf Smelt) on the upland, beach and intertidal zones. Public access to the waterfront has significantly increased by connecting a pathway to the existing waterfront pathway to the North, adding two wider sets of stairs and a hand carried boat launch and accessible ramp. The pathway is lit and includes artistic features intended to represent the movement of water while integrating artistic features symbolic of the Puget Sound marine life.