The beaches of Rich Passage are unique in their sediment characteristics, hydrodynamics, and morphologic response.  Extensive physical and biological field studies were conducted in Phases 1 and 2 of this study to develop an understanding of these processes, to establish baseline conditions and to provide calibration and validation for the numerical models described in Phase 2 - Report 2.  These reports are all available here.


The beach response to the existing conditions in the study area is dominated by the wake climate in the summer and the wind-wave climate in the winter.  An extensive wake climate analysis was undertaken to quantify and distinguish wakes produced by the various vessels that transit Rich Passage.  Whereas the present wake climate is dominated by WSF car ferry wakes, POFF wakes dominated the wake climate during previous WSF Chinook-class operations, accounting for more than 50 percent of the wakes that arrived at the shoreline.  In addition, the energy level of these wakes was significantly greater than either WSF car ferries or other vessels at the time.

The beaches in Rich Passage fluctuate in volume from season to season.  Quarterly beach profiles, ground-based photographs, and observations acquired since 2005 indicated that many sites have recovered from erosion induced by WSF POFF operations.  The beaches exhibited a minor, to insignificant, response to the trial wakes of research vessel Spirit in 2005.  Sediment transport processes on these beaches was investigated in this phase of the study using gravel tracers.

Physical and Biological Field Studies

Seattle- Bremerton

Passenger Only Fast Ferry Study

Data continues to be collected and analyzed and will be posted as it becomes available. 


Additional Physical and Biological Reports


Clam Habitat Modeling Impact and Analysis - April 23, 2009

Marine Biophysical Report  -  Fall 2011