We're excited to announce we were awarded $4.5 million in National Coastal Wetlands Conservation grants through the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to fund five projects.
Although only states can apply for the grants, we work in close partnership with land trusts, local and tribal governments, and other entities to restore and protect wetlands across Washington. In the past decade, we've helped projects totaling almost $86 million conserve more than 10,000 acres of wetlands. Wetlands help control flooding, clean the environment, provide habitat, recharge groundwater, and do much more to benefit the ecosystem.
Baird Cove Acquisition ($995,000)
We're working in partnership with Nisqually Land Trust to acquire an 88-acre estuarine complex in Thurston County. This project is located on the east side of Johnson Point in southern Puget Sound. The project will protect over 4,200 feet of intact estuarine shoreline, pristine coastal wetlands, and mature forest. These coastal habitats are considered critical for fish, wildlife, and bird populations, including many state and federally-listed species. The acquisition will conserve the property and sustain essential ecosystem function and shoreline processes.
Elwha Estuary Place Acquisition ($1 million)
We're working in partnership with the Coastal Watershed Institute to conserve historic Elwha River estuary wetlands and restore marine shoreline along the river delta in Clallam County. The project will maximize coastal wetland benefits associated with the removal of the Elwha River dams by coupling watershed-scale restoration with estuary and nearshore conservation and restoration. This effort is part of a broader effort by local partners to protect the Elwha River corridor from headwaters to estuary/nearshore.
Skookum Valley Wetland Acquisition ($564,000)
We are working in partnership with the Squaxin Island Tribe to acquire and permanently protect 158 acres of wetlands and shorelines along Skookum Creek that flow directly into Puget Sound in Mason County. Restoration of approximately five acres will occur following acquisition, allowing for removal of derelict structures and debris, followed by revegetation with native plants. The wetlands and streams provide habitat for four salmonid species, and provide important habitat for numerous waterfowl, migratory birds, and raptors. This project is the first phase in a larger effort that will eventually conserve over 600 acres in the Skookum Valley floodplain.
Sound View Camp Conservation Easement ($950,000)
We are working in partnership with the Nisqually Land Trust to acquire a permanent conservation easement which will protect Sound View Camp, a 93-acre waterfront property on Drayton Passage in southern Puget Sound, in Pierce County. The project will protect approximately 4,000 feet of intact coastal shoreline habitat comprising a dynamic complex of feeder bluff, saltmarsh, tideland, and mature forested upland habitat. The site’s estuarine and nearshore areas sustain critical fish, wildlife, and bird populations. The conservation will protect the property from future conversion to intensive uses and will sustain essential ecosystem function and shoreline processes.
West Oakland Bay Restoration Phase 2 ($1 million)
We are working in partnership with the Squaxin Island Tribe on the second phase of restoring critical coastal wetlands in West Oakland Bay, Mason County. The project will restore 28 acres of saltmarsh, and remove 1/4 of inter-tidal dikes. The goal is to reestablish and permanently protect a saltmarsh estuary that was lost when an industrial harbor was created over 100 years ago. This important project is part of a larger effort to conserve and restore nearshore, estuarine, and freshwater habitats in the Oakland Bay watershed that are important for recreation, shellfish, tribal uses, and wildlife.