As Washington continues to grow, many of our most beautiful areas are threatened with development. In addition, native ecosystems are receding, and important wildlife habitat and migratory pathways are being cut off. The Natural Areas category helps combat this by funding projects that protect wildlife habitat and rare geological features while also preserving public access for back-country recreation.
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources will use this grant to buy approximately 447 acres in two coastal natural area preserves that include the Bone and Niawiakum Rivers. These coastal wetland and estuary ecosystems are among the highest quality examples remaining of native coastal salt marsh communities in Washington. The forests adjacent to the salt marshes protect a large portion of both rivers’ watersheds and provide nesting habitat for bald eagles, marbled murrelets, great blue herons, and a range of other species. The main focus for this project is to support conservation and passive recreation in Pacific County.