We are pleased to announce that we have helped secure nearly $ 3.4 million in national coastal wetland conservation grants to protect 237 acres of coastal wetland habitat in the counties of Island, Jefferson and Mason.
This year, Washington received the second highest number of federal wetland conservation grants under the US Fish and Wildlife Service program. Since 1992, we have successfully helped projects totaling approximately $ 132 million conserve nearly 15,000 acres of coastal wetlands in the state.
Coastal wetlands often compete with tropical rainforests and coral reefs as some of the most diverse and productive ecosystems on the planet. They include estuarine salt marshes as well as freshwater wetlands that extend inland into a watershed.
Although only U.S. states and territories can apply for federal conservation grants, we work closely with our partners in local and tribal governments and conservation organizations to identify projects and develop proposals for the restoration and protection of the areas. wetlands that the federal government will need to consider.
Funded in part by taxes paid on fuel and equipment purchases by anglers and boaters, the Federal Coastal Wetland Conservation National Grants Program provides up to $ 1 million for projects individual wetlands.
Here are the Washington projects funded in 2022.
Anderson Creek Wetlands Acquisition and Restoration – Phase 2 ($ 650,000)
We are working with the Northwest Watershed Institute and the Washington Department of Natural Resources to permanently protect and restore 3.6 acres of critical coastal wetland habitat in the Dabob Bay Natural Area in Jefferson County. The project will conserve and restore the last unprotected parcel in the Anderson Creek Valley. Ecologically diverse, the property includes forested and shrubby freshwater wetland types in decline nationally and regionally. The restoration includes the removal of roads and a culvert that blocks the passage of fish to most of Anderson Creek, which is home to many species at risk, including rainbow trout and coastal cutthroat trout, salmon coho, the western lamprey, as well as many important species of birds and mammals.
Acquisition of Discovery Creek and wetlands ($ 727,000)
In partnership with the Northwest Watershed Institute, the project will protect 90 acres along Discovery Creek in the Dabob Bay Natural Area in Jefferson County. It includes the preservation of the headwaters and wetlands at the upper end of Discovery Creek, a salmon creek, and the second largest freshwater system entering Tarboo-Dabob Bay. The new acquisition fills a critical gap as most of the Discovery Creek watershed is already protected. The new project will conserve important upland conifer and deciduous forests that buffer Discovery Creek and associated wetlands that also provide habitat for many wildlife species.
Acquisition of Livingston Bay ($ 1 million)
This project is located on the east side of Camano Island in Island County. In collaboration with the Whidbey Camano Land Trust, the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians, the Tulalip Tribes and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the project will acquire 94 acres and a conservation easement on an additional 32 acres – including 25 acres of tidelands and 2,600 Livingston Bay marine shoreline. The project will contribute to the recovery efforts of the Puget Sound ecosystem by enabling land protection and subsequent restoration of the tidal estuary and wetlands that will increase the critical habitat available for several species of fish and animals. wild, including chinook salmon and rainbow trout. Port Susan Bay is also a key stopover along the Pacific Flyway for migratory waterfowl.
West Oakland Bay Restoration – Phase 3 ($ 1 million)
We are working with the Squaxin Island Tribe to complete the third and final phase of a project designed to restore critical estuary coastal wetlands for Goldsborough Creek in West Oakland Bay located in Mason County . The project will restore 18.6 acres of salt marsh, remove 1.5 acres of invasive plants in the riparian area, and remove a quarter mile of shoreline shielding. The goal is to restore and permanently protect a salt marsh estuary that was lost during the creation of an industrial port over 100 years ago. This important project is part of a larger effort to conserve and restore coastal, estuarine and freshwater habitats in the Oakland Bay watershed that are important for recreation, seashells, tribal uses and wildlife.