January 7, 2019
Keystone boat launch closed indefinitely
We’re sorry to report that because of damage from the storm of Dec. 20, the boat launch at Fort Casey Historical State Park on Whidbey Island is closed indefinitely. High winds and waves completely destroyed the wooden protective breakwater and knocked over one of the support pilings for one of the docks and damaged both docks.
Before they can be safely used again, the docks must be repaired. However, even after the docks are repaired, we will not return all of them to the water until they can be adequately protected — either by a new permanent breakwater or some kind of temporary breakwater. But because of the extensive damage and the complexities of replacing the breakwater, including obtaining funding and multiple permits, we don’t expect to be able to fully restore the breakwater, boat ramp and docks for at least a year.
We are actively exploring temporary solutions to restoring some usage of the boat ramp. At present, you can still launch your boats at the ramp, but you won’t have a dock to use. CAUTION: We have still not located the piling that was knocked over. Until we can find and remove it, boaters should exercise extreme caution and be aware of this potential obstruction, especially at lower tides.
Alternative public boat launches can be found at Deception Pass State Park and Possession Beach Waterfront Park.