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Marine Protected Areas within Puget Sound

Discovery Park Marine Preserve

WAC 220-16-850: "Discovery Park Marine Preserve" is defined as two sections of tidelands owned by the City of Seattle and the water column above those tidelands down to 4.5 feet below MLLW at Discovery city park, with a southern section located south of West Point bounded on the southeast by a line projected west-southwest from 122° 25' 31.7" W, 47° 39' 26.8" N and bounded on the northeast by a line projected west-southwest from the sign posted at the sidewalk entrance to the beach, and with a northern section bounded on the southwest by a line projected northwest from 122° 25' 20.7" W, 47° 40’ 3.3" N and bounded on the northeast by a line projected northwest from 122° 25’ 4.2" W, 47° 40' 11.1" N. Effective since 5/1/2005.


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Links to other imagery about this site


The map above has the locations (A through E) of the photographer from where the images below were taken.
Recreational Restrictions / Openings
Species Status Comments, notes...
Salmon Limited Fin fishing by hook and line only is allowed.
Trout Limited Fin fishing by hook and line only is allowed.
Bottomfish Limited Fin fishing by hook and line only is allowed.
Shellfish Closed Note: inadvertent takes by hook and line must be returned to the same location.
Forage Fish Limited Fin fishing by hook and line only is allowed.
Unclassified Closed Note: inadvertent takes by hook and line must be returned to the same location.
 
Commercial Restrictions / Openings
Species Status Comments, notes...
Salmon Limited Fin fishing by hook and line only is allowed.
Bottomfish Limited Fin fishing by hook and line only is allowed.
Shellfish Closed Note: inadvertent takes by hook and line must be returned to the same location.
Forage Fish Limited Fin fishing by hook and line only is allowed.
Unclassified Closed Note: inadvertent takes by hook and line must be returned to the same location.

 

Geographic Statistics

Area Type Acres Hectares
Intertidal 40.98 16.58
Subtidal None None
Total 40.98 16.58

 

SOUTHERN SECTION

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A view to the SW of the entrance to the beach (point A in the index picture above).

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On the beach at the entrance (point B), looking SE.

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Near the south end (point C) and looking SE, this promontory cuts off passage to the end during high tide.

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Looking NW from the southern boundary (point D).

NORTHERN SECTION

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A view of the entrance to the southern end of the beach (point E).

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Looking back to the entrance from the beach (point F), a sign marking the entrance is visible as a small, vertical line at the center of this photo.

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A view to the NE along the beach along the northern boundary (point G).

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Two fences meet on top of the scarp above the northern boundary, as seen from the beach (point G). The bluish pole at top right in this image is where they meet.

Prominent and unique features

The Discovery Park Marine Preserve is located adjacent to a sandy spit upon which the West Point sewage treatment plant was built in the 1960s. Expansion of the plant from primary to secondary treatment in the 1980s resulted in the majority of the facility screened behind protective berms and vegetation.

The southern section of Discovery Park Marine Preserve is composed primarily of sand, with scattered gravel, cobble and boulders. The backshore is adjacent to high eroding bluffs formed by glacial runoff. The northern beach is rockier, with several enormous boulders present. The backshore here also abuts a high eroding cliff of glacial material.

Description of fish, bird, and mammal resources at the site

The beach supports a wide variety of invertebrate species plus a moderate growth of seaweeds. The lower intertidal hosts eelgrass beds that extend into the subtidal supporting additional invertebrates, residential and migratory waterfowl and numerous fishes, including juvenile salmon. Adult salmon may also be present just offshore. The low-subtidal also provides substrate for seasonal kelp beds, providing habitat for dozens of species of fishes. Harbor seals, California sea lions and orca whales have been observed in offshore areas.

Programs in place to manage the site

The Seattle Aquarium Beach Naturalist program provides extensive beach interpretation in the late spring and summer. In addition, Seattle Aquarium Citizen Science staff and volunteers conduct periodic ecological surveys at the site for long-term monitoring and science education opportunities.

Issues of concern

Educating the public about the boundaries of these closed areas as well as their purpose will be crucial to success. The Seattle Aquarium Beach Stewards program will be important in addressing this.

Due to the popularity of these areas, impacts from increased non-consumptive use are a potential concern (trampling, etc.).

Performance measures

Continued or increasing use for education, watchable wildlife users, and non-consumptive uses.

Maintenance or increase in numbers and diversity of intertidal organisms.