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 will use this grant to buy the development rights on 20 acres, including 4 acres of tidelands, at Port Gamble Bay. The purchase is the first step in a larger project to restore high quality, near-shore habitat and provide water access and educational opportunities. The bay is home to large herring stocks, surf smelt, sand lance, and multiple species of salmon, trout, and shellfish. The site also is important to indigenous people who lived there for thousands of years and continue to rely on the water resources. This project will provide immediate access to the bay for non-motorized boats. The landowner plans to develop the site and agreed to let the Tribe purchase the development rights forever if money could be found within 3 years. The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe will contribute more than $2.9 million in cash and potentially grants from the state Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account and the state Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program.