Dungeness Spit
Dungeness Spit is a 5.5 miles (8.9 km) long sand spit
Spit (landform)
A spit or sandspit is a deposition landform found off coasts. At one end, spits connect to land, and extend into the sea. A spit is a type of bar or beach that develops where a re-entrant occurs, such as at cove's headlands, by the process of longshore drift...

 jutting out from the northern edge of the Olympic Peninsula
Olympic Peninsula
The Olympic Peninsula is the large arm of land in western Washington state of the USA, that lies across Puget Sound from Seattle. It is bounded on the west by the Pacific Ocean, the north by the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the east by Puget Sound. Cape Alava, the westernmost point in the contiguous...

 in northeastern Clallam County, Washington, into the Strait of Juan de Fuca
Strait of Juan de Fuca
The Strait of Juan de Fuca is a large body of water about long that is the Salish Sea outlet to the Pacific Ocean...

. It protects Dungeness Bay. The Dungeness Spit is entirely within the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge and home of the Dungeness Lighthouse. It is the longest natural sand spit in the United States. Its land area, according to the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, is 1,271,454 square meters (0.4909 sq mi, or 314.18 acre
The acre is a unit of area in a number of different systems, including the imperial and U.S. customary systems. The most commonly used acres today are the international acre and, in the United States, the survey acre. The most common use of the acre is to measure tracts of land.The acre is related...

s). The lighthouse once was run by USCG, but since an automatic light was installed, it has been run by the "New Dungeness Lighthouse Organization".

It was first found by Europeans during the Spanish 1790 Quimper expedition.

The name "Dungeness" refers to the Dungeness headland in England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. It was given by George Vancouver
George Vancouver
Captain George Vancouver RN was an English officer of the British Royal Navy, best known for his 1791-95 expedition, which explored and charted North America's northwestern Pacific Coast regions, including the coasts of contemporary Alaska, British Columbia, Washington and Oregon...

in 1792, who wrote: The low sandy point of land, which from its great resemblance to Dungeness in ths British Channel, I called New Dungeness.

In December 2001 a heavy winter storm forced water over the spit. The next morning the spit was broken in three places, and vehicles supplying the lighthouse were not able to traverse the spit for about a month.

External links

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