Sand build-up leads to closure of Mutiny Bay boat ramp

The boat launch at Mutiny Bay will remain closed due to sand obstructing access until Island County officials can work out a deal with neighbors, according to Kelly Ojala, assistant public works director.

Ojala explained that residents in the area voiced concerns in 2017 about sand building up near the boat launch, which is owned by the Port of South Whidbey and maintained by the county.

The county had been sending out a loader to clear the accumulated sand once a week. Sometimes the sand was piled 10 feet high.

As a result of the concerns, the county hired a consultant to do an engineering study of the area. Ojala explained that study found the ramp was disrupting a natural process and preventing sand from being deposited on other beaches, leading to erosion.

The solution, Ojala said, is for the county to spread the sand on the privately owned beaches north of the ramp.

The problem, however, was that the owners of the homes nearest the ramp to the north were not interested in allowing the county to spread sand on their beaches.

“The first couple of homes, they have plenty of beach in front on their homes,” he said.

But the owners of beaches farther north wanted the extra sand because of erosion of their beaches, Ojala said. One resident estimated he lost several feet of sand in just the last few years.

The county would need the permission of the residents nearest the ramp in order to travel across their beaches to the homes farther on.

Island County had been clearing the sand under a maintenance permit from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, which expired at the end of 2019. The state wants the county to come up with a solution to the problem before the permit is renewed.

As a result, the boat ramp has been unusable.

Ojala said the county is continuing to work on negotiating with the neighbors and he’s hopeful an agreement can be reached.

In the meantime, the nearest beach launch is at Bush Point.

More in News

Volunteer burnout a problem for fire district, according to chief

Availability of firefighters has become a critical need for South Whidbey Fire/EMS… Continue reading

Oak Harbor staff works to clarify zoning code

Island County Superior Court ruled against Oak Harbor’s low-income housing development for… Continue reading

Photo provided
                                Staff from Island Drug at Ken’s Korner are being temporarily relocated to the Oak Harbor store while efforts to secure a new South Whidbey location continue. From left to right: Store Manager and Pharmacy Technician Rachel Soto-Paulus, Pharmacy Technician Merissa Dahlman and Pharmacist Rich Russo.
Pharmacy leaving its Ken’s Korner location

After 15 years at Ken’s Korner in Clinton, Island Drug is looking… Continue reading

Sailor follows her father’s path to NAS Whidbey

Past and present collided recently when Naval Linguist Abigail Burns posed in… Continue reading

School board planning equity policy

South Whidbey School Board took its first steps towards evaluating its education… Continue reading

Photo provided
                                Des Rock, owner of Useless Bay Coffee Company, dropping off soup to be included in the deliveries.
Food program for children expands to week of meals

A South Whidbey food program providing weekend meals for children and their… Continue reading

Annual car show canceled because of COVID-19

Yet another yearly even is canceled due to COVID-19. The Whidbey Island… Continue reading

CARES funds available for businesses in unincorporated county

Small businesses in unincorporated Central and South Whidbey that were impacted by… Continue reading

COVID-19 uptick deemed no cause for alarm

Thirteen additional people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Island County in… Continue reading

Most Read