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.
With this grant funding, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will acquire approximately 146 acres of Riparian Protection habitat along the Kalama River and the Merrill Lake Shoreline. This acquisition is the latest of a multi-phase acquisition effort to acquire 1,431 acres in the Merrill Lake area. Objectives include long-term protection of this unique habitat and providing secure public access, particularly along the shorelines of the lake and river. This acquisition provides additional opportunities for passive recreation in Cowlitz County.