McSorley Creek Restoration

King County and Washington State Parks are seeking public input on a proposed restoration project near Des Moines that would remove rip-rap at McSorley Creek and the shoreline at Saltwater State Park to improve fish habitat, control flooding and enhance recreational amenities. 

A public meeting is set for March 23 to introduce the public to the project and gather input from the park’s users and neighbors. The meeting is scheduled 7 to 9 p.m. at the Founders Lodge, Beach Park Event Center, in Des Moines. 

Public input will help guide King County and State Parks in the early planning stages of the project and, if it moves forward, help shape how the project improves the park for people, fish, and wildlife. 

King County and Washington State Parks are currently in the "preliminary design" planning stage of the stream and shoreline restoration project. 

The mouth of McSorley Creek, which flows through the park, is currently bulkheaded with rip-rap. This project will examine removing the rip-rap at the creek’s mouth and creating a “pocket estuary” – a tidal wetland– to make the creek more accessible for fish such as juvenile Chinook salmon. The project may also include removing part or all of the bulkhead along the shoreline north of the creek and creating beach habitat instead. Finally, the project would improve recreational amenities. 

The WRIA 9 Salmon Habitat plan identifies McSorley Creek as a high priority project for restoration of natural beach feeding (sediment) processes. Additionally, recent high tides have flooded the park’s Saltwater Café, and the building is at risk of flooding more frequently in the future. Designing a project that addresses these issues provides an opportunity to enhance the recreational amenities at the same time. 

More information about the public meeting is available at www.kingcounty.gov/SaltwaterSP .