Summer construction at Sequim Bay State Park expected to affect recreational crabbing, boating

Washington State Parks announced last week that beginning in mid-summer the boat launch and parking area at Sequim Bay State Park will be closed for at least 18 weeks while contractors replace the park’s bulkhead and boat launch floats and make other necessary improvements.

Work is expected to begin around July 16 and continue through mid-November, state parks officials said. During this time, the boat launch and parking area will be closed. Campers can also expect construction traffic and noise in this area of the park.

The total budget for the project is $1.6 million, including an estimated $1.2 million for construction, along with planning, surveying, permitting, mitigation and construction administration costs. Of that total, $1.08 million comes from State Parks capital funding. The remaining $547,000 comes from a Boating Facilities Program grant from the Recreation and Conservation Office.

“We understand this closure will be a disappointment to our visitors, and we apologize for the inconvenience,” Erik Plunkett, State Parks Sequim Bay Area manager, said. “But we are excited about the improvements that will benefit the public and the environment, such as safer and easier access to the beach and the removal of the toxic creosote pilings and bulkhead.”

The timing of the closure occurs during the height of the recreational crabbing season, which typically runs from July 1 through Labor Day weekend. This is also the busiest time of the year at the park. However, construction must coincide with the “in-water work window,” as required by regulating agencies, so that construction occurs during a time of year that minimizes negative effects on salmonids and forage fish species, parks officials said.

The summer construction work includes:

• Replacing the old creosote-treated timber bulkhead with a new, more habitat-friendly bulkhead

Replacing old creosote-treated boat launch pilings and installing new floats

• Installing stairs for easier and safer beach access; beach access at the ramp area is used largely by recreational oyster harvesters.

Washington State Parks advises crabbers and other boaters to plan ahead for possible crowded conditions at other nearby boat launch facilities. People who made camping reservations for dates during the anticipated construction period have been notified.

Other boat launches available for use in the area include the John Wayne Marina, about a mile north of the park, and Port Williams, operated by Clallam County Parks, located just outside the entrance to Sequim Bay.

State Parks expects to send out the advertisement for project bids later this month and aims to award a contract by mid-June. At that time, the agency will be able to provide a more definitive idea when construction will begin.

Those interested in learning about the closure date this summer can sign up to receive alerts at, or by following State Parks on Facebook and Twitter (@WaStatePks).

For more information about Sequim Bay State Park, visit