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.
This project seeks to acquire via fee title up to 1,500 acres of shoreline adjacent forest and wetlands along the northern shore of Willapa Bay. The project site is between the mouths of the Willapa river and North River in Pacific county, Washington. This acquisition fits an envelope across 7 ownerships. All parcels are within close proximity to existing WDFW lands that comprise the North Willapa Bay Unit. If fully executed, the proposed project would help provide nearly uninterrupted connectivity across 4 distinct fragments of existing WDFW ownership over 10 ten miles of shoreline and riverbanks. The overall goal is to protect Wetland, Riparian, and Forested habitats that benefit multiple species of fish and wildlife including: wildlife Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) such as Marbled Murrelet, Dusky Canada Goose, and Band-Tailed Pigeon; Game species like Roosevelt elk, Columbia Black-tailed deer, and a variety of waterfowl. The acreage overlaps the mouths of ten distinct fish bearing freshwater streams containing anadromous fish species such as Fall Chum, Coho, and Winter Steelhead. Additionally, the proposed acquisition includes tidally influenced areas of Willapa Bay that are identified as critical habitat for federally listed Green Sturgeon. Finally, an enormous opportunity exists to acquire then, eventually restore, a large block of freshwater wetland that is currently blocked off from WIllapa Bay and modified by levees and tidegates.