The Bellingham Sailing Foundation (BSF) has reached an agreement with Lehigh Cement (Lehigh) for transfer of Lehigh aquatic lands mitigation credits to the BSF youth dock expansion project at Squalicum Harbor.
“This is terrific news for our youth sailing community which would not have been possible without an amazing donation from Lehigh Cement” said BSF President Craig Henderson. “We desperately need more room for our youth sailing programs and this project will expand the small-watercraft dock at Zuanich Park and add a new hand-launch boat ramp improving access and safety for both our young sailors and members the general public.”
The youth dock project is located at the southeast corner of Zuanich Park near the entrance to Squalicum Harbor. The mitigation credits are associated with Lehigh’s planned demolition of large portions of an existing pier/pipeline trestle system that was built starting in 1913 on privately owned and Washington State aquatic lands and which extends into Bellingham Bay.
“Lehigh Cement is proud to work with the Bellingham Sailing Foundation to support youth sailing programs and improve public access to Bellingham Bay” said Kent Stuehmer, Vice President of Cement Operations for Lehigh. “We are committed to giving back to the communities where we live and work and this is a great opportunity for Lehigh to demonstrate that commitment.”
The portion of the trestle on Lehigh property that is targeted for the BSF Youth Dock mitigation includes removal of approximately 1,662 square feet of overwater coverage and approximately 1141 4-inch diameter piles that will be removed on private aquatic lands as part of this demolition project. The removals are of sufficient size and scope to offset unavoidable impacts associated with expansion of the BSF Youth Dock.
The agreement facilitates closure of the Endangered Species Act consultation process required by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Clean Water Act permitting process and is a major milestone and boost for the BSF youth dock project. The youth dock expansion will provide enhanced and safe access to Bellingham Bay for participants in the BSF’s Youth programs and members of the general public who need a location for hand launches of small boats, kayaks, and wind surfers. No motorized/vehicular launches will be permitted.
“We are in the final stages of fundraising needed to get this project built” said Henderson. “The Bellingham Sailing Foundation is a 501.c3 non-profit and we will gladly accept tax deductible donations needed to get this project over the finish line.”
BSF plans to complete fundraising this year and begin construction in Fall 2022. People interested in supporting the project can contact BSF President Craig Henderson at firstname.lastname@example.org