Port, hearing examiner like Poulsbo breakwater plan

The breakwater replacement project continues to move forward.

The Port of Poulsbo voted last week to send the breakwater replacement project to the hearing examiner.

Hearing examiner Gary McLean then ruled to move the proposal forward to the Department of Ecology, pending submittal of additional project materials and information from the port.

If approved by the DOE the breakwater replacement would begin in late summer or early fall.

The port is proposing to remove 898 creosote-treated timber piles and 33 steel piles that make up the current dilapidated breakwater and replace it with 72 20-foot steel piles and a reconditioned floating pontoon purchased from Elliot Bay.

Additionally, the port is looking to expand the marina to include more moorage areas and a 236-foot-long access float that would allow for access to the breakwater itself from AA-Dock. The additional moorage would include 11 50-foot “finger” floats and 11 30-foot ” finger” floats.

“Increasing the number of boat slips is supposed to be based on the sustainability of the environmental conditions, demonstrations of the proposal’s compatibility with the surrounding land use and aquatic conditions, and is supported by an analysis to demonstrate the need for the requested number of slips,” city associate planner Marla Powers said.

The expansion also includes a Floating Upweller System, which would be primarily used by the Suquamish Tribe. A FLUPSY is used to grow out shellfish in open water while protecting them from predation and culture them to hatchery size. The system provides increased water flow and has been attributed to accelerated growth.

The FLUPSY will be located next to the proposed public restroom.

Port commissioners had a handful of questions regarding the mitigation processes, particularly about how people moored in the marina would be protected while the current breakwater is removed and replaced during a particularly stormy time of the year.

“It’s never a good time to start on a project, but you have to take it when you can in-between fish windows, etc.,” port manager Carol Tripp said. “Our plan at this point is, we do have some folks that are liveaboards out on the outer skirts of the marina towards the breakwater. We will be moving them into what we call ‘winter moorage.’ It will be a little more protected for them.”