Skagit Community to Receive $535,000 for Cypress Island, Secret Harbor
In a last minute agreement before session ended, legislators released their final capital construction budget, including $535,000 for restoration work on Cypress Island and Secret Harbor. These funds will enable the Department of Natural Resources to increase the number of campsites well as renovate the Island’s loop trail and improve public safety.
Cypress Island was an alternate for grant funding through the competitive Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP). Cypress Island has received over $13 million since 1990 for the protection of the island and the development of campgrounds, public access and trails.
“Public access is a rare commodity in the San Juans, and thanks to the legislature, these lands provide a pretty significant opportunity for folks that visit via kayak and private boat,” said Tim Seifert, executive director of the San Juan Preservation Trust, the non-profit land trust that operates throughout the San Juan Islands. “I can’t tell you how many people tell me that their one experience visiting the San Juans came when they joined a kayak outfitter in Anacortes and paddled to Cypress for an overnight at one of their Cypress campgrounds.”
“We are incredibly grateful for the leadership of Senator Ranker and Representatives Morris and Lytton for making this historic conservation effort possible,” said Joanna Grist, executive director of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition, which advocates for the WWRP grant program. “Cypress Island, like many WWRP projects around the state, help maintain critical habitat for wildlife, protect our waterways and ensure that outdoor recreation can continue to be major source of income in communities across the state.”
Statewide, renewing WWRP funding is an essential investment in our long term prosperity because of the economic impact of tourism and outdoor recreation. Outdoor recreation generates $8.5 billion in revenues annually to Washington’s economy and supports 115,000 jobs.