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 grant to purchase about four acres of creek channel, riparian, and upland habitat within the Kennedy Creek Natural Area. This natural area contains one of Washington’s few remaining high-quality salt marsh communities and encompasses the most ecologically important areas within the watershed from the freshwater riparian corridor to the tide flats of Oyster Bay in Totten Inlet. This site also provides key habitat for migrating shorebirds and salmon and is vital to the health of the local and regional shellfish economy. The conservation opportunity provided by this project is additional protection of the Kennedy Creek riparian corridor and enhanced protection of the Kennedy Creek Natural Area Preserve. This project will sustain and expand the highest quality salmon education trail in southern Puget Sound, which provides public access, environmental education and scientific research opportunities.