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.
This project will purchase a conservation easement over 227.89 acres of mostly undeveloped marine shoreline, pocket estuary, salt marsh and forested habitat on Totten Inlet in Olympia. This is the largest property on the inlet under private ownership, and hosts 8,500 feet of largely undeveloped, forested, marine shoreline, a 7.8-acre pocket estuary, and 4,745 feet of perennial and seasonal streams, for a total of over 2.5 miles of marine and freshwater shoreline. Hudson Cove provides important habitat for juvenile chinook, steelhead and coho salmon as they seek sheltered areas in their migration to the Pacific Ocean, as well as spawning habitat for forage fish. In addition to feeder bluffs along much of the marine shoreline, Hudson Cove hosts salt marsh and mud flat habitat which provides important nesting and foraging habitat for shorebirds. The shoreline forest has an abundance of trees and shrubs overhanging the shoreline. The “upland” forest contains areas of riparian habitat, cedar groves, and more typically managed timber stands. Fifteen state and federally listed species rely on the property’s important habitat at some point in their life cycle. The property is identified as high priority for acquisition on numerous prioritization models (Squaxin Island Tribe’s Nearshore Beneficial Model and Coastal Catchments Analysis, PSNERP strategy) as well as other plans such as the WRIA 14 Salmon Recovery 4-year work plan. Zoned RRR1/5, there is a high likelihood of development.