Grant sought to expose Langley creek

Langley is looking for funding to shed some light on the long-hidden Brookhaven Creek that runs under the city and into Saratoga Passage.

City leaders approved a grant application to help pay for an estimated $57,627 project that would bring about 50 feet of the creek to the surface. The grant would come from the Whidbey Island Conservation District, and the city’s mayor said Langley would only move forward with the project if it received the grant.

“The idea was to kind of bring out to people that this creek runs through the city and to be aware of what they are putting in it,” said Mayor Fred McCarthy.

Currently, the creek is directed underground through a pipe system that dumps out through the concrete wall at Seawall Park and into the greater Puget Sound marine system. Originally pitched and pursued by Councilwoman Rene Neff, a design by Community Planning Director Jeff Arango shows an exposed Brookhaven Creek between the Windermere office and US Bank on the west side of Second Street.

McCarthy said he learned from Neff that Brookhaven Creek used to be a salmon spawning system. Early in the city’s history, however, the creek flowed through a pipe which prohibited fish from entering it to return to their spawning grounds. Reportedly, a man would gather the salmon and take them beyond Sixth Street to where the creek is open so they could spawn.

Any future use as a restored salmon spawning area is not likely, however, as the much of the creek runs under commercial buildings and homes now, McCarthy said. The section in the Brookhaven housing area is exposed.

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