Harper Estuary is a small but significant estuary on Kitsap County’s south-eastern shore. The estuary has important value for fish and wildlife, recreation and local history. The Harper Estuary Restoration Project aims to re-stablish tidal influence and estuarine habitat. Restoration continues to progress with the completion of phase one work and launching of phase two work. Phase one work:
- Replaced the under-sized culvert on Southworth Drive with a 16-foot wide box culvert;
Removed bricks, contaminated industrial fill, and a concrete bulkhead;
Created a tidal connection to the wetland east of the Olympiad culvert; and
Added large woody debris on newly shaped spit and installed plants.
Phase two includes the construction of a new 120-foot bridge over the estuary to replace the undersized culvert at Olympiad Drive, and restore tidal influences.
Kitsap County is actively seeking funding to construct the bridge. In 2018, the County applied for state funding from the Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration (PSAR) fund, and the Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program (ESRP). However, no funds have been secured to date. The bridge project is also listed on the County’s Transportation and Improvements Programs (TIP) below the funding line.
In January 2020, Kitsap County applied for bridge construction funds from the Brian Abbott Fish Barrier Removal Board (FBRB). We submitted an application in response to FBRB’s request for proposals. In April we will find out if the application moves on to the next round of review. Stay tuned.
Current Work (January 2019 to December 2020)
In support of phase two and full restoration of Harper Estuary, the Washington State Department of Ecology granted Kitsap County funds to enhance and maintain the restoration, perform ecological monitoring, develop a park management plan, and involve the Harper community. The project will:
Maintain the restored estuary by removing invasive plants and removing additional bricks
Implement of an estuary monitoring program
Engage Stakeholders and do outreach (a series of interactive night meetings/workshops that cover topics that address park issues, park management and stewardship opportunities)
Develop a park redevelopment and improvement plan
Design, permit, and construct park/public use improvement
Harper Park Improvement Plan Update
We are pleased to share the final version of the Harper Park Improvement Plan. The plan has undergone its final review by the community, partners, and the Parks Advisory Board. The plan’s purpose is to provide for public access, recreational opportunities and enjoyment of the park, while facilitating restoration, protection and enhancement of the park’s natural environment. Thank you to all who participated!
Next steps are to secure permits and construct outlined park improvements!
How Can I Participate?
Attend community meetings to discuss and provide feedback on park improvements