New Nature Preserve
The Coulter Creek Estuary, a 50-acre site at the end of North Bay, will be protected from development thanks to nine decades of family stewardship and two state grants. The Allyn Community Association reports two grants were formally
authorized by the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board that will allow Mason County to buy the estuary from the Overton family, and turn the site into a nature preserve, including boardwalks and interpretive signs. The grants total $900,000: $450,000 from the Washington Wildlife Recreation Program and $450,000 from the Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account. The estuary is one of the last undeveloped properties on the bay which was named a watershed “of greatest ecological integrity” by the West Sound Watersheds Council and tabbed as a priority for conservation by Mason and Kitsap counties, the Squaxin Island Tribe and the communities of Allyn and Victor.
The Overton family has owned the Coulter Creek Estuary since 1922. The site, a mosaic of marine forest, salt marsh and mudflats that supports several rare bird and fish species, will become a Mason County nature preserve and a connector to the North Bay Trail system. The boardwalks and signs will be funded in part by gifts from the Allyn Community Association and Taylor Shellfish Farms. Although other funding is still being sought, work is expected to begin by this fall.