Overview of Edmonds Underwater Park

Edmonds Underwater Park

Edmonds Underwater Park
USA West


Site Review by
 Edward J. Palumbo
Date: 12/08/2003


Site Condition
(1=worst, 5=best)

Name:  Edward J. Palumbo Entry:    5.00
Email:   Click Here Bottom:    5.00
City:   Tualatin Reef:    4.00
State:   Oregon Animal:    5.00
Country:   USA Plant:    5.00
Diving:   17 years Facilities:    4.00
 Dives:   200 Solitude   2.00
    Roads:    5.00


*Average:    4.52
This site provides ease of entry and egress, excellent macro photographic opportunities, a diverse and abundant marine biosystem, and an extraordinary dive experience. The bulkheads of the DeLeon dry-dock, sunk in 1935 as a breakwater for the ferry terminal at the park's southern boundary, provide a garden-like habitat for plumose anemone, rockfish, cabezon, painted greenling, kelp greenling, and lingcod. Kelp crab, decorator crab, shrimp and tubesnout can be found in the eelgrass. Depth at the westernmost end of the sunken dry-dock is about 40-42 feet, so air consumption due to depth is not a major concern. This is a marine protected area (MPA) and resident species are often mature, large and productive. These fish live in a nutrient-rich "soup" that allows them to thrive without human predation. No powerboats or fishing are permitted within the park boundaries. Nothing may be taken from the site. Nudibranches and other small, colorful invertebrates can be found, simply by taking the time to look for them. This site provides a fine example of how beneficial an MPA can be. Edmonds is not a fortuitous accident; this site has been carefully nurtured and developed over the years by a dedicated group of volunteers. It's a model for other underwater parks. Employ a compass and common sense to avoid the path of the ferries. The park consists of 27 acres of submerged area, with features that provide variety and countless hiding places for many species that inhabit these rich waters. Visibility seems at its best in wintertime, when local water temperatures are 46-48 degree F. There are public restrooms for changing clothes, and outdoor freshwater showers to rinse cameras and dive gear. This is probably the most popular dive site in the Northwest, and a delightful place for area residents to admire the Sound, so the parking area fills quickly. Arrival after 0830 will be necessitate offloading at the sea wall and parking elsewhere. Air is available at Underwater Sports, a few hundred yards away. A diver's slate with U/W map is available at the dive shop. A diver will not be able to cover all the site has to offer on one, two or several dives. Family restaurants and coffee shops, as well as antique shops, are within walking distance from the site. Visibility is occasionally poor, but within your (limited) circle of visibility, you will observe a remarkable variety of marine life. This is a popular location for dive classes and not a technically challenging dive site, so advanced divers may not find it worthy of frequent visits, but it's a fine place to train, to admire the Puget Sound's marine life, and (with permit) make night dives. The site is not current-sensitive due to the breakwater and jetty, and it's a fine place for the novice diver to explore, especially if guided by another diver familiar with the site's many features. For divers visiting the Seattle area, this site is a "must see".    

Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:    3.00
Beginner:    5.00
Intermediate:    5.00
Advanced:    4.00
Night diving:    4.00

Seasonal Information

Season:    Spring
Year:    2003
Visibility:    3.00
Current:    4.00
Surf:    5.00

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