Taylor Shellfish sells land to state for conservation
QUILCENE — Fifteen acres of land near the Taylor Shellfish hatchery has been added to the state-managed Dabob Bay Natural Area, the Northwest Watershed Institute announced.
Taylor Shellfish Company sold four parcels totaling 15 acres of forested shoreline along Dabob Bay near Quilcene to the state Department of Natural Resources for $440,000 last month, said Peter Bahls, director of the nonprofit institute, which helped coordinate the project.
“I much appreciate Taylor Shellfish Company's willingness to step up to the plate to help protect one of the highest quality and least developed bays remaining in Puget Sound,” Bahls said in a news release.
DNR secured federal and state grant funding for the acquisition from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coastal Estuary and Land Conservation Program and the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, Bahls said.
“The parcels acquired are now permanently protected by recorded deed restrictions that prevent development and ensure their stewardship by DNR as part of the Natural Area,” he said.
Taylor Shellfish retained a fifth parcel of seven acres that holds the existing shellfish hatchery operation.
“We are pleased that we could be a part of the sustained effort by DNR, NWI and others to protect Dabob Bay — an effort which is so important in maintaining water quality, our shellfish hatchery operations, and the ecological health of the bay for generations to come,” Bill Taylor, owner of Taylor Shellfish, is quoted as saying in the release.
The company built the shellfish hatchery on Dabob Bay in 1990.
The hatchery grows clam and oyster larvae in large tanks of seawater located on the uplands.
It is one of the largest such hatcheries in the world and employs 15 people, according to Taylor.
In 2009, DNR expanded the proposed boundary of the Dabob Bay Natural Area to nearly 6,200 upland and aquatic acres, Bahls said.
Since then, DNR, Northwest Watershed Institute, Jefferson Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy and other agencies have worked with willing landowners to acquire land within the boundary.
About 3,000 acres have been conserved to date, according to Bahls.