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 will use this funding to to acquire approximately 164 acres of shoreline and mature riparian forest parcels within Dabob Bay Natural Area, located in Jefferson County within the Hood Canal region of Puget Sound. The target area consists of seven priority parcels, some with lower-valued improvements. This project contains high-quality examples of coastal spits, which are supported by coastal bluffs and shorelines within the natural area that provide sediment and woody debris for continued ecological function. Additionally, the proposal includes high-quality examples of under-represented forest vegetation types listed in DNR’s Natural Heritage Plan. These acquisitions will provide opportunities to remove shoreline hardening and restore natural stream function. By acquiring the priority parcels, DNR will strengthen the protection of the Dabob Bay Natural Area Preserve, as well as provide for education and research opportunities, potential access for low-impact recreation, and support the statewide system of natural areas as a whole.