Conserving land along our waterways protects important habitat and helps keep our rivers healthy, clean, and more resilient to drought. Riparian Protection projects conserve and restore fresh and saltwater habitat while protecting fish habitat. In doing so, the grants help provide our families, farms, and fisheries with clean water across the state.
Great Peninsula Conservancy and Kitsap County used this grant to acquire 282.1 acres in North Kitsap County. Located from the head of Miller Bay to the lower reaches of Grovers Creek, 1.1 miles upstream, the project protects forested uplands, main-stem and tributary creek reaches, side channel refugia, a diverse Riparian Protection wetland complex, and a salt water bay. The wetland complex contributes to the habitat quality of the bay through sediment storage, non-point pollution filtration, flood attenuation, and slow release of water to maintain healthy spawning and rearing refugia habitat for ESA listed winter steelhead, coho, fall/winter chum, and cutthroat. The property also includes aquatic and terrestrial linked habitat for amphibians and nesting and foraging area for neo-tropical migratory birds. The project allows Kitsap County to hold a property interest (e.g. easement or right-of-way deed) for future development and public use of a non-motorized trail and/or shared-use pathway providing a link to a regional trail system connecting Kingston to the Hood Canal Bridge near Port Gamble. Any trail and/or pathway will be aligned in the future to make the shortest and least environmentally disruptive connection across the project site, linking isolated upland areas and minimizing impacts to wetlands and wildlife, as further described in the Special Conditions to this Agreement.