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Bluffs & Beaches on Camano

February 5, 2023 @ 10:30 am 12:00 pm

FREE training for SWS members

First, learn a little about this site’s geologic history and what you’re seeing on the bluffs and beaches. Second, learn how to make reports to researchers and give them feedback on the tool they use to gather data.

Paul Belanger new bio photo 300x300

Paul Belanger, PhD Geology/Paleogeologist presents: geology and history of how the bluffs at CISP were formed and what is being eroded when storms occur. Plus: Paul has studied meterology and can talk about the difference between the Dec 27 destructive King Tides and the January innocuous 13+ foot King Tides. Paul Belanger is a retired geologist who has studied the marine record of past climates. Since retiring to North Whidbey over three years ago, he’s been involved with Sound Water Stewards, leading geologic field trips on Whidbey and Camano about how the bluffs came to be, how they vary, how they nourish the beaches and how climate change might impact us and nearby bluffs in the future. He uses MyCoastApp to send pictures and reports of North Whidbey bluffs to researchers at USGS/WWU. He is currently Vice president of Sound Water Stewards.


Callie Little, WWU researcher presents: Learn how to report bluff erosion and king tides to MyCoast App during this onsite training at Camano Island State Park. Learn why your pictures matter and how they are used to create models of the Salish Sea bluffs. Callie Little is a graduate student working under Dr. Eric Grossman at Western Washington University writing her thesis on modeling bluff erosion in Puget Sound. Before moving to Washington, Callie studied geology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she first got involved in coastal research as an assistant to a Ph.D. student studying short-term bluff retreat. Having lived near the coast all of her life, she is fascinated by how shorelines have historically changed, what research can tell us about the future of coasts, and how coastal communities will respond to changing climatic conditions.

Meet at the boat launch — which is near the pit toilet at the north end of the parking lot. When you enter the park, follow signs to the boat launch.

Address: 2269 S. Lowell Point Road, Camano Island, WA 98282
but make sure you follow signs to the boat launch! Camano Island State Park (CISP) – Bluff is north of the boat ramp. Meet at the boat ramp (“pit toilet” nearby). We will walk north about 1,000 feet on cobble (3 to 4-inch diameter roundish rocks) and gravel.

Plan for the weather: rain gear, and sturdy shoes. Discover Pass or one-day pass is required.

SWS Members: Remember studying bluffs and beaches with Hugh Shipman in the past? You are in for a real treat on Feb 5! Please come to learn all about the bluffs and beaches at CISP and learn to use the MyCoast/WA app to give the researchers the best info they seek and to provide feedback to them about your questions or challenges with using the app. Please let Joan know you’re coming.

This field trip will educate you about the sedimentary layers you see and the glaciation process which carved out the islands and shorelines. The western side of Camano Island faces Saratoga Passage where wind, waves, and tides impact the shores and, occasionally, the bluff slides. SEE Paul Belanger’s handout as PDF (or as PPT)

You will learn to use the Bluff Reporter tool using MyCoast App and how these reports are used for bluff erosion research! Join us at Camano Island State Park to view a beautiful and dramatic bluff. [Important: follow signs to boat launch.]

In advance, you might want to review:

Links embedded in Paul Belanger’s PPT:


2269 Lowell Point Road
Camano Island, Washington 98282 United States
+ Google Map