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.
This proposal is for the acquisition of high priority properties within 3 Puget Trough estuarine wetland NAPs. These NAPs contain the highest quality estuarine wetlands and associated uplands remaining in the Puget Trough. Dabob Bay contains 1 of the 2 highest quality coastal spits with native vegetation remaining in the region. This site contains 2 types of very high quality intertidal salt marsh communities & associated native vegetation, are of the two largest natural spawning areas on the west coast & provides important habitat for shorebirds and salmon. Kennedy Creek includes 3 diverse tidal river & salt marsh communities, & is 1 of the 3 highest quality coastal marshes remaining in the southern Puget Trough. This site supports a distinct population of native salmon & is a critical overwintering area for Dunlin, Greater Yellow Legs, Black-Bellied Plovers, Migratory Sandpipers & other shorebirds. The preserve is highly visible to Hwy 101 travellers & is a popular bird-watching area. The coastal salt marsh at Skookum Inlet is in excellent condition. The native marsh is intact & bounded along its upland margin by a mixed old second growth forest community.Three types of saltwater marsh occur here, all of which are listed as priorities for protection in the Natural Heritage Plan.