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 Department of Natural Resources used this grant to acquire privately owned waterfront properties on Cypress Island, which were subject to possible conversion to incompatible and/or ecologically irreversible uses. The Cypress Island Natural Area provides opportunities for directed public use and environmental education, while protecting critical habitat and rare plant communities.