Bill and Margi Byers
These rocks were dumped on the beach at Lincoln Park and Bill and Margi Byers fear they will cause serious damage to the seawall on the beach there. They are asking people in West Seattle to join them in getting the Seattle Parks Dept. to remove the rocks.

LETTER: Lincoln Park: Correcting a bad situation honestly

In December 2012 an unusually high tide damaged the WPA seawall on the north side of Colman Pool, and in January 2013 the Parks Department repaired this seawall damage. THEN they dumped in front of the repaired area a mound of rock. We spoke to the staff person in the Park Office at the north end of the Park about this (his name was Bill), and he said that he had recommended against dumping these rocks on the beach. Why? Their size makes them environmentally unsustainable—the first strong north wind at a high tide will toss these rocks over the beach.

In late April the Parks Department held a public meeting on management of Lincoln Park, which we could not attend because of travel, but we wrote a lengthy letter to the Mayor, Parks Department Interim Superintendent, and Councilwoman Sally Bagshaw (Chair of the Parks Committee, Seattle City Council). In this letter we expressed our concern about these rocks, among other topics, but got no reply from any of the officials.

We received e-mail from Robert Stowers in the Parks Department, with cc:’s to Dan Johnson, Laurie Dunlap, and Carol Baker (all of whom work in the Parks Department, but none of whom have contacted us) on May 23, asking to meet with us about our concerns about this and other issues in Lincoln Park. We indicated that we did not need to meet, as our concerns were clearly stated in our letter. We now invite readers of the Herald who like us have noted this environmental disaster to register their concerns to the Seattle Parks Department.

On May 28 the Parks Department posted signs on the shoreline path at the north end of Lincoln Park about the closure of the road on May 29 for “beach cleanup.” What the Parks staff did was to put beach sand/gravel on the rocks, so as to camouflage them! What an absurd use of public money, and a failure to correct a bad situation honestly. We cannot tell you how many people we have met walking on the shoreline who have spoken about the ill-guided decision to dump the rocks in front of this area of seawall repair.

This seawall was built in approximately 1936. It has not needed any fill of this type for over 75 years, and the Parks Department has not provided us or in any public forum that we are aware of as to why the rocks were placed in this location.

The shoreline of Lincoln Park is one of the City’s treasures. If a storm scatters the rocks on the beach—and it is only a matter of time until one does—they will be an environmental disaster. Unlike the glacial cobbles that form the natural beach, these are crushed rocks with sharp edges, and they will stay that way for decades. All one needs to do is to go to the cove at the north end of Lincoln Park to see the impact of storms on similar crushed rock dumped on the beach several decades ago in the name of protecting the pathway. High tides in the winter have scattered these larger rocks all over the beach at the north end of the park. They are an eyesore, and a monument to bad engineering that failed to recognize the power of storms that hit this shoreline on a periodic basis.

We urge West Seattle citizens to join us to demand that the Parks Department to “correct a bad situation honestly.”

Get these rocks off the beach immediately.


Bill & Margi Beyers

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