2024 National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Awards

We're excited to announce we were awarded $5 million in new National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grants through the U.S. Fish and 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. We've been successful in receiving over $82 million in federal wetland conservation grants, allowing us to help conserve more than 16,000 acres of wetlands. Wetlands help control flooding, clean the environment, provide habitat, recharge groundwater, and do much more to benefit the ecosystem.

2024 funded projects

(Click on the images to enlarge.)

Photo courtesy of Great Peninsula Conservancy.

Carpenter Creek Estuary Acquisition ($1 million)

We’re working in collaboration with Great Peninsula Conservancy to acquire 50 acres of prime estuary habitat and riparian forest in the Carpenter Creek Estuary in Kitsap County. The project will acquire and permanently protect critical coastal wetland habitat. Taking place in the lowest reaches of the Carpenter Creek watershed, the project targets the estuary, nearshore habitat, and riparian forest surrounding the Carpenter Creek estuary. It will also protect the lowest 600 feet of Crabapple Creek, a salmon-bearing stream that provides freshwater input into the southern edge of the Carpenter Creek estuary. The regionally significant stream and wetland complex provides over-wintering, spawning, resting and transitional habitat for multiple salmonid species and waterfowl, and will serve as a site for environmental education activities.

Photo courtesy of John Gussman.

Elwha River Floodplain Acquisition and Restoration ($1 million)

This project is in partnership with Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and the North Olympic Land Trust to acquire and restore critical coastal wetlands in the Elwha River watershed of Clallam County. The grant will fund the acquisition and permanent protection 17 acres of land containing 0.3 miles of Elwha River mainstem, floodplain and associated buffers. In addition, restoration will occur on 37 acres of coastal wetlands and buffers along the mainstem, side channel, overflow channel and floodplain on and adjacent to the acquired land. Restoration, which includes the installation of 20 engineered logjams to emulate the river process and the habitat sustaining benefits of large woody debris, is necessary because of prior land management practices which denuded the lower river of naturally occurring large wood. Restoration activities will help to maximize the coastal wetland benefits associated with the recent removal of the Elwha River dams by further advancing watershed-scale restoration.

Photo courtesy of Great Peninsula Conservancy.

Johnson Creek Estuary Acquisition ($1 million)

We’re working with the Great Peninsula Conservancy to acquire and permanently protect 13.1 acres of coastal wetland habitat and 530 feet of eastern Hood Canal shoreline in Kitsap County. The property provides vital habitat for many species of fish, coastal-dependent birds, migratory birds, and species listed as threatened or endangered on both a state and federal level. The project site contains several rare and highly significant habitat features including eelgrass beds, shallow tidelands, and the lower 400 feet of Johnson Creek. Marine nearshore provides eelgrass beds and pocket beaches for juvenile salmon with rich feeding grounds and protection from predators. The project site provides important foraging, refuge and saline gradients for juvenile salmon to grow, survive and adapt to the marine environment. Future phases will allow for removal of shoreline armoring and restoration of the historic salt marsh estuary. 

Photo courtesy of Squaxin Island Tribe.

Skookum Ranch Restoration ($1 million)

In collaboration with the Squaxin Island Tribe, this project will restore approximately 73 acres of coastal wetland habitat in Mason County, Washington. The project will restore 1/2 mile of mainstem Skookum Creek by placing the channel back into its historic alignment, restore streamside channels, remove a fish-blocking culvert that acts as a grade control structure to restore 48 acres of wetlands, and install over 70 large wood structures to provide aquatic habitat. The goal of the project is to restore the aquatic habitat lost when the property was converted to farming in the early 1900s. The streams provide habitat for numerous salmonid species and the wetlands provide important habitat for numerous waterfowl, migratory birds and raptors such as osprey. The project is the second phase of a larger project that will fully restore the Skookum Ranch property, a portion of which was acquired with a 2019 NCWC grant.

Photo courtesy of Stillaguamish Tribe.

Trafton Floodplain Restoration ($1 million)

In partnership with the Stillaguamish Tribe, this grant will implement Phase 1 of a restoration project to restore key ecological processes to riverine floodplain and freshwater wetland habitat along nearly two miles of the North Fork Stillaguamish River. Through the restoration of functional riverine floodplain and freshwater wetland habitat in this reach, the project will increase critically located wetland habitat for a diverse range of fish, birds, and other wildlife. The Phase 1 project will restore approximately 7.5 acres of historic wetlands, control invasive species, plant 95 acres native trees and shrubs to improve riparian forest condition, and improve floodplain habitat complexity through the excavation of side channels and installation of large woody debris across the entire site. This Phase 1 work is a necessary component to proceed to the final Phase, which will complete restoration of 230 acres of former riverine floodplain and freshwater wetland habitat.