Puget Sound Innovation Stories

Seahurst Park

Seahurst Park is an oasis of 152 acres of forested ocean shoreline in a very urban corridor south of Seattle. The park boasts nearly a mile of natural beach and forested cliffs as tall as 400 feet. Seawalls were built in 1972, and as a result, sand from the cliffs could no longer reach the beach. The walls also made it unsafe for people to reach the beach.

After 20 years, the seawall needed repair. Removing the seawall and restoring the beach penciled out to be the smart choice from all perspectives. Not only would it lower maintenance costs, but it would also allow a natural beach to return—and with it the bait fish that only lay their eggs in sand. Bait fish are a critical food for salmon, birds, and many mammals living in Puget Sound.

The shoreline’s transformation, which took place over 10 years, included removing 1,800 feet of concrete armoring, adding 25,000 tons of sand and gravel to the scoured beaches, and planting 17,000 native plants.

Before restoration, logs bounced off the seawall; now logs settle on the shore and provide food and habitat for young salmon, Dungeness crab, and birds, and even young seal pups come ashore to use the beach. Families enjoy the restored beach too, and the park draws more than 400,000 visitors each year. Another big win? Bait fish have returned at last.

Funding Sources:

  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • State and regional grants

 Congressional District: 7


  • City of Burien
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Puget Sound Partnership
  • Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office
  • Salmon Recovery Funding Board
  • Green/Duwamish Watershed Forum
  • King Conservation District

More Info

Publish Date: April 20, 2017
Category: Nearshore
Congressional Districts: Congressional Dist. 7
Counties: King
Habitat Types: Marine | Nearshore