Urban Wildlife Habitat projects fund close-to-home places to play and explore nature. As our urban areas are increasingly expanding and densifying, these grants protect important fish and wildlife habitat within five miles of densely populated areas, creating green refuges that help keep our ecosystems healthy and provide places to enjoy nature right in our backyards.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife used this grant to purchase 177.61 acres of wetlands on the Tahuya Peninsula near Belfair for protection of habitat for wildlife, including five species of salmon. With adjacent land owned by the department and land trusts, the project protects more than 540 acres, nearly the entire Lynch Cove estuary. There are five species of salmon using the area, including Hood Canal summer chum and Chinook, which are threatened with extinction. They both depend upon shallow, near shore waters such as estuaries to hide from predators and feed. In addition to salmon, more than 15,000 ducks, geese, and brant winter in Lynch Cove. This is one of the most important winter waterfowl areas in Hood Canal and south Puget Sound. The parcels in this acquisition are smaller, undeveloped home sites.