The dinghy dock at English Camp will be closed to boater traffic through June 24 while archaeologists investigate the site in preparation for the dock's replacement later this summer, announced Lee Taylor, park superintendent.
The beaching of dinghies or kayaks is not permitted directly in front of the parade ground, south of the dock. Because of the sensitivity to archaeological resources north of the dock along the Belle Point Trail shoreline, as well as for safety's sake, it is suggested that boating visitors anchor or dock in Roche Harbor and use trails or public transportation to visit the park,
Hikers can access the park from Roche Harbor via the Roche Harbor-English Camp connector trail, a relatively flat three-mile hike that terminates at the parade ground. Maps of the trail are available on the San Juan Trail Committee web site at http://sanjuanislandtrails.org. San Juan Transit has a regular route that calls at English Camp. Call (360) 378-8887 for information.
The dinghy dock project involves in-kind replacement of the dock, including pilings, which is located off the park's Bell Point trail, beyond the parade ground at the north end of Garrison Bay. The dock was installed in 1986 through a donation by the International Yachting Fellowship of Rotarians of Victoria. A plaque that commemorates the donation is located nearby. Thousands of visitors over the years have anchored in the bay and tied up dinghies to the dock while picnicking or hiking.
The NPS proposes to conduct the archaeological survey to identify the presence or absence of significant subsurface cultural deposits, including both prehistoric and historic-period artifacts and features. The project will include a survey of the intertidal areas in up to one foot of water to determine if there are any surface remains of the pre-contact or historical components of the site within the project area.
If it is determined that significant, sub-surface archaeological deposits are present within the affected area, then all interested parties and the Washington DAHP will be consulted, and a plan of action for the mitigation of the disturbance of those deposits will be developed and implemented.
For information, call the park at (360) 378-2240, ext. 2227, 2228 or 2221.