Lopez Channel

Category Overview

Washington is famous for its gorgeous and abundant waterways, from the Salish Sea to the Nisqually River, but many communities lack open public beaches and waterfronts where everyone can enjoy picnicking, swimming, paddling, boating, and angling. Water Access projects fund public shoreline access, boat launches, and fishing docks to create more opportunities for water recreation.

Project Highlights

The San Juan County Land Bank will use this grant to help buy about 10 acres along the western shore of Lopez Island for a public beach and for launching hand-powered boats. The 7.35-mile western shore of Lopez Island largely is inaccessible because of high bluffs, rocky shoreline, and overwhelmingly private ownership. Only two-thirds mile is accessible from land, and the land to be purchased is the only remaining potential access point to the rest. Due to threat from vacation home development, the land was purchased in 2017, but about $450,000 is still owed to the seller. The land connects to 2 miles of public tideland reachable only by boat. This area is part of the Cascadia Marine Trail, but rarely is used because there is no way for paddlers to launch or take out. This project would fill that gap. Its beach also would allow swimming, beachcombing, and wildlife viewing as well as kite and stand up paddle boarding among other activities. The San Juan County Land Bank will contribute $412,806 in a voter-approved levy, potentially a grant from the state Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account, and donations of cash.

Quick Facts

WWRP Applicant: San Juan County Land Bank Category: Water Access WWRP Grant: $ 410,000.00 Applicant Match: $ 412,806.00 Project Type: Acquisition County: San Juan Legislative District: 40 Status: Proposed RCO Project # 18-1935

Location Details

From the Lopez Island ferry terminal travel 2 miles south on Ferry Road to Fisherman Bay Road and then 4.95 miles to a left on Airport Road. Then .45 miles to a left on Shark Reef Road. Site is .71 miles on the left at Meadow Lane.

What is the WWRP

The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP) is a state grant program that creates and conserves local and state parks, wildlife habitat and working farms. The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office administers WWRP grants, and the legislature funds the program.