Lower Union River Estuary Acquistion

Category Overview

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.

Project Highlights

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife used this grant to buy approximately 180 acres on the Kitsap Peninsula near Belfair to protect and, plans in the future to enhance estuarine and Riparian Protection. With adjacent land owned by the department and land trusts, the project will protect more than 280 acres of quality habitat, nearly the entire lower Union River estuary. Permanently preserving this land will protect the habitat functions for the entire area and facilitate estuarine habitat restoration. Salt marsh habitat is a high priority for protection and restoration. Hood Canal and the Union River support federally protected Hood Canal summer chum and Puget Sound Chinook salmon. Young chum and salmon depend upon estuaries and shallow, nearshore waters for food and refuge from predators. Existing trails along the dike will remain, allowing the public an opportunity to view a salt marsh habitat restoration project in action.

Quick Facts

WWRP Applicant: Fish & Wildlife Dept of Category: Riparian Protection WWRP Grant: $1,935,950.00 Applicant Match: $0.00 Project Type: Acquisition County: Mason Legislative District: 35 Status: Closed Completed RCO Project # 06-1832

Location Details

From Olympia, travel through Shelton and north on Hwy 3 to Belfair. In the center of Belfair turn on Roessel road directly across from the Belfair Elementary School. Follow Roessel Road through the gate. All property past the gate and adjacent to the estuary are part of the proposed acquisitions

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.