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.
The project will protect approximately 181 acres and restore approximately 48 acres of Riparian Protection habitat through perpetual conservation easements and habitat restoration projects in the flood plain of the lower reaches of this highly degraded river. The Dungeness River Area historically produced significant populations of Chinook, coho, pink (2 separate stocks), steelhead, and native cutthroat. Currently, SASSI “critical stocks” Dungeness Chinook and lower river pink salmon are candidates for ESA listing, and several other stocks are considered “at risk.” Three watershed plans, a new habitat restoration plan and many studies have delineated the issues/ problems in the Dungeness that will be addressed by this project. These include nonpoint sources of pollution, water quantity/quality limits, as well as other natural and human caused impacts on salmonid habitat. The areas identified are a high priority for habitat and water quality restoration as addressed in the plans, and have identified, willing landowners. We will use less-than-fee acquisition methods to acquire from willing landowners flood plain and Riparian Protection habitat restoration, enhancement, and protection of critical side-channel habitat and flood-prone areas. Project partners include Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, North Olympic Land Trust, & Clallam Conservation District. An endowment will be established for future stewardship.