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.
The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe proposes to acquire a conservation easement on 16 acres of upland and shoreline, 2.5 acre of bluff, and approximately 4 acres of adjacent tidelands at Port Gamble Bay to protect it from development into perpetuity. In addition, the Tribe will complete a cultural resources evaluation of the Port Gamble Bay and Hood Canal area, develop a Restoration and Stewardship Plan for the protected property, coordinate with stakeholders to pursue future restoration of the entire spit (including the central/eastern interior and northern areas), and advance up to three conceptual restoration alternatives forward to the 30% design stage. The acquisition project is the first step in the overall goal of restoring high quality nearshore habitat and providing water access, recreational, and educational opportunities. The bay is home to large herring stocks and hosts populations of surf smelt; sand lance; chum, coho, pink, and Chinook salmon; steelhead; bull and cutthroat trout; and multiple species of shellfish. The site is important to indigenous people who lived here for thousands of years and continue to rely on aquatic resources. This project will provide immediate water access for non-motorized boats and canoes after the upland cleanup is complete. Future phases will include low-impact recreation development, fill and armor removal, the creation of beach habitat, re-vegetation, and restored sediment processes.