Park to be closed until May

The largest shoreline restoration project in the Puget Sound area will begin next month at Burien’s Seahurst Park.

“This is the most important thing that has happened in my 12 years on the council,” Burien City Councilmember Joan McGilton declared at the Aug. 5 council meeting. “This has national significance.”

Seahurst Park will close in late September and when it reopens in May, the north seawall will be gone and the adjacent beach restored to natural conditions.

A narrower pathway will still extend along the north beach to the science center and marine technical laboratory.

The north beach will begin to look like the park’s restored south end. The seawall was built in 1972.

Parks development and operations manager Steve Roemer told lawmakers the beach will become more friendly for marine habitat while the park’s recreational features for residents will be preserved.

“We are trying to get our shoreline back,” Roemer explained.


Press release:

Adventurous Volunteers Needed
We are hoping for even more volunteers than last year – even people who can only survey every now and then. Please share this email with anyone you know who might want to volunteer.

Be part of Miller/Walker Creek Stewardship
How many adult salmon return to Miller and Walker Creeks in Burien, Normandy Park, and SeaTac each year? This program is teaching us that the numbers can vary a lot! We also investigate how many of these fish are stricken by pre-spawn mortality each year, and thus how many are surviving long enough to lay the eggs of the next generation.


I support President Obama's recently announced plan to combat climate change and advance clean energy. The plan calls for reducing carbon pollution from power plants--our largest source of pollution driving climate change--that also harms our health and economy.

We are already seeing the effects of climate change: storms are becoming more intense, heat waves more severe, drought more persistent and wildfire more prevalent. Superstorm Sandy alone caused more than $1 billion in damages and a loss of life that cannot be quantified.

Rising temperatures also trigger more bad-air days, which are of particular concern for the young, the elderly and those with asthma and other health issues. We can't afford to ignore these costs any longer.

Investing in renewable energy, increased efficiency and pollution controls will create jobs and a more resilient economy. In fact, history has shown when we rein in pollution we get a big bang for our buck. Since 1970 every $1 in investment in compliance with Clean Air Act standards has produced $4-8 in economic benefits.


Press release:

Senior Planner David Johanson has been awarded the City of Burien Innovative Stewards Award for his work on the Shoreline Master Plan (SMP) update which was adopted by the City Council earlier this year and now is awaiting state DOE approval.
Senior Planner David Johanson has been awarded the City of Burien Innovative Stewards Award for his work on the Shoreline Master Plan (SMP) update which was adopted by the City Council earlier this year and now is awaiting state DOE approval.

Adoption of the Shoreline Master Program update ended five years of study, negotiations and countless meetings involving the city, shoreline property owners and state Department of Ecology officials. Johanson served as the lead City official in the update process.

The co-worker who nominated him for the award wrote: “David had to collaborate with myriad people regarding the SMP…David is extremely tactful and has been a wonderful representation of the City throughout the SMP process.”


The Burien Parks Department announced this week that Seahurst Park will close on Sept. 3, the day after Labor Day and remain closed through April 2014 for a major construction project that involves removal of the seawall in the northern section of the park, restoration of the natural beach and construction of a new fish ladder.

The announcement comes following approval by the state Legislature of the state budget, which includes $5.7 million for the Seahurst seawall removal. In addition, $3.9 million in funding is being made available through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. A total of $9.6 million has now been secured from state and federal sources for the project and construction can now proceed, Parks and Recreation Director Michael Lafreniere told the Burien City Council at its meeting Monday, July 1.

The project will involve removal of the seawall and restoration of the beach to a more natural condition. The work will include all areas of the park along the shoreline, from the lower parking lot extending north.

King Tide keeping Seahurst Park open until 10 p.m. tonight

Press release:

Due to a special event, Seahurst Park will close at a special time this evening, (June 27) at 10PM, so Seahurst Park visitors can see an especially high KING TIDE.

Tonight is one of the last of three consecutive nights of “King Tides” – very high tides. It should be hitting the shoreline tonight around 9:30 p.m.

If anyone has the time and interest, NOAA is requesting people take photographs and post them to the web – see the instructions below.

The full moon associated with the summer solstice has brought extreme high tides to our coast and shorelines. The term ‘King Tide’ is a non-scientific term used to describe naturally occurring, exceptionally high tides that take place when the sun and moon’s gravitational pull align making the oceans "bulge."

While the King Tides during the summer are not as large as winter King Tides, these exceptionally high tides depict what could be the new normal as sea level rise progresses.


The Highline Times stories about this Wrangling over the Road has a lot greater following than I thought. Dozens of people I don't know or haven't seen for years are asking questions about it. "Oh, you're that guy I read about in the Highline Times..." It's clear the Highline Times has reached deep into the communities. People are upset with the abuse of government and municipal power already. This is a "poster child" case.

This situation has become a serious ethics question. The Southwest Suburban Sewer District historically hasn't kept its written agreements, promises or word with my family, continues to find legal loopholes to satisfy their determination to use my property as a shortcut diminishing the value of this incredible place with their constant intrusions, loud diesel trucks grinding up and down the road, waves of diesel smoke, industrial vehicles crossing by each other, bumper to bumper seconds apart robbing this place of its natural beauty, peace and quiet.


Update: The ad hoc committee was tasked with trying to resolve four areas of contention between the city of Burien's originally submitted Shoreline Master Program and the state Department of Ecology. One of these areas was the buffer and setback requirements for the marine shoreline. The city and DOE had already agreed on the Lake Burien setbacks.

Here is our previous coverage

Yet another hitch appeared June 3 as Burien lawmakers appeared ready to approve a compromise shoreline master plan and resubmit it to the state Department of Ecology (DOE).

Three Burien council members voiced concern the compromise granted more lenient conditions for Puget Sound property owners over Lake Burien residents.

But the prospect of dragging the five-year-long process along for even one more council meeting caused two of the three dissenters to decide to approve the plan in hopes it may be amended later.

Councilmember Rose Clark commented that while the council has focused on the Lake Burien and marine properties shore plan, “the rest of the city has been ignored.”

The vote was 6-1 with Councilmember Jack Block Jr. the lone dissenter.

Port capitalizes on open space to increase the hardiness of Northwest bees

Port of Seattle press release:

Sea-Tac Airport’s newest residents, 500,000 honeybees, have joined ranks with the 777s and other aircraft that call the airport home.

Made possible through a partnership with the Port of Seattle and the nonprofit The Common Acre, the project — named Flight Path — makes Sea-Tac one of the first airports in the country to feature an apiary. 

Six hives sit at three vacant, undeveloped sites near the airfield.

Like most airports, Sea-Tac has large tracts of open land that provide an added buffer for both safety and noise mitigation such as the runway protection zones

With open space around the airfield and bee populations in decline, the airport is uniquely suited to host honeybees and other pollinators. The long-term goal is to promote hardy bee populations in the region by increasing their genetic diversity and supporting them with adequate habitat.


Press release:

Highline Community College’s Marine Science and Technology Center (MaST) is pleased to announce the launch of the “Got Caps?” plastic bottle cap collection campaign on Saturday, June 8th from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. The MaST Center is partnering with community organizations and local schools to collect bottle caps to prevent accumulation in our landfills. The caps will be reused for eco-art educational projects and distributed to partnering organizations for proper recycling.

The launch event will include workshops to teach different ways to reuse caps for things such as children’s projects or garden art, and a “Sink Your Boat” contest. Attendees that bring a grocery bag of plastic bottle caps to the MaST Center will be entered to win prizes such as a Salty's at Redondo gift certificate, an iTunes gift card, a “sustainable” gift package and more.

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