California Creek Estuary Park Acquisition

Category Overview

Washington is famous for its gorgeous and abundant waterways, from the Salish Sea to the Nisqually River, but many communities lack open public beaches and waterfronts where everyone can enjoy picnicking, swimming, paddling, boating, and angling. Water Access projects fund public shoreline access, boat launches, and fishing docks to create more opportunities for water recreation.

Project Highlights

The Blaine-Birch Bay Park & Recreation District #2 is seeking funding to acquire and protect 11.51 acres of wildlife habitat on California Creek to protect rare tidelands and estuary with public amenities for a non-motorized trail access and kayak boat launch. Blaine-Birch Bay Park and Recreation District is partnering with the Whatcom Land Trust (WLT) to acquire the property with the intention of demolishing the existing home and developing the property to provide public recreation opportunities. The subject property is located at the confluence of California Creek and Drayton Harbor, one of two main tributaries flowing into Drayton Harbor. The Property consists of a ¼ mile of estuarine frontage and 500 feet of shoreline habitat consistently utilized by bird and marine life notably cutthroat trout, fall Chum and Coho. The landscape of this coastal inlet provides estuarine & palustrine wetland habitat that is protected from the oncoming waves of adjacent Drayton Harbor, making it ideal for migrating juvenile salmon, shellfish, waterfowl, and shorebirds. The site is also ideal for beginning kayakers as they learn to paddle Puget Sound waters. Due to its scenic location and proximity to the shoreline, further development of the property is likely in the future. WLT has purchased the property with a 3-year conservation loan with the intention to transfer it to the Blaine-Birch Bay Park and Recreation District if funds are secured to repay loan.

Quick Facts

WWRP Applicant: Blaine-Birch Bay Park & Rec Category: Water Access WWRP Grant: $ 299,400.00 Applicant Match: 458000 Project Type: Acquisition & Development County: Whatcom Legislative District: 42 Status: Merged RCO Project # 18-1947

Location Details

Travel north on I-5 from Bellingham to exit 274 Peace Portal Dr to Semiahmoo. Take exit heading west on WA-548 to Drayton Harbor Rd. Take right on Drayton Harbor Rd and travel 1 minute to destination 4656 Drayton Harbor Rd immediately after crossing bridge over California Creek.

What is the WWRP

The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP) is a state grant program that creates and conserves local and state parks, wildlife habitat and working farms. The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office administers WWRP grants, and the legislature funds the program.