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J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2017, 5(2), 19; doi:10.3390/jmse5020019

Sediment Transport into the Swinomish Navigation Channel, Puget Sound—Habitat Restoration versus Navigation Maintenance Needs

1
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Seattle, WA 98109, USA
2
Skagit River System Cooperative, La Conner, WA 98257, USA
3
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, P.O. Box 3755, Seattle, WA 98124, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Zeki Demirbilek
Received: 26 February 2017 / Revised: 11 April 2017 / Accepted: 12 April 2017 / Published: 21 April 2017
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Abstract

The 11 mile (1.6 km) Swinomish Federal Navigation Channel provides a safe and short passage to fishing and recreational craft in and out of Northern Puget Sound by connecting Skagit and Padilla Bays, US State abbrev., USA. A network of dikes and jetties were constructed through the Swinomish corridor between 1893 and 1936 to improve navigation functionality. Over the years, these river training dikes and jetties designed to minimize sedimentation in the channel have deteriorated, resulting in reduced protection of the channel. The need to repair or modify dikes/jetties for channel maintenance, however, may conflict with salmon habitat restoration goals aimed at improving access, connectivity and brackish water habitat. Several restoration projects have been proposed in the Skagit delta involving breaching, lowering, or removal of dikes. To assess relative merits of the available alternatives, a hydrodynamic model of the Skagit River estuary was developed using the Finite Volume Community Ocean Model (FVCOM). In this paper, we present the refinement and calibration of the model using oceanographic data collected from the years 2006 and 2009 with a focus on the sediment and brackish water transport from the river and Skagit Bay tide flats to the Swinomish Channel. The model was applied to assess the feasibility of achieving the desired dual outcome of (a) reducing sedimentation and shoaling in the Swinomish Channel and (b) providing a direct migration pathway and improved conveyance of freshwater into the Swinomish Channel. The potential reduction in shoaling through site-specific structure repairs is evaluated. Similarly, the potential to significantly improve of brackish water habitat through dike breach restoration actions using the McGlinn Causeway project example, along with its impacts on sediment deposition in the Swinomish Navigation Channel, is examined. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrodynamics; sediment transport; nearshore restoration; dredging; dike alteration; FVCOM; Puget Sound; Salish Sea hydrodynamics; sediment transport; nearshore restoration; dredging; dike alteration; FVCOM; Puget Sound; Salish Sea
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Khangaonkar, T.; Nugraha, A.; Hinton, S.; Michalsen, D.; Brown, S. Sediment Transport into the Swinomish Navigation Channel, Puget Sound—Habitat Restoration versus Navigation Maintenance Needs. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2017, 5, 19.

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