The State Lands Restoration and Enhancement category provides funding to two state agencies to help repair damaged plant and animal habitat. These grants focus on resource preservation and protection of public lands. Projects in this category help bring important natural areas and resources back to their original functions by improving the self sustaining and ecological functionality of sites.
The Departments of Fish and Wildlife and Natural Resources have teamed up to restore 500 acres of habitat in Willapa Bay that have been harmed by the invasive plant spartina. The restoration will compliment other spartina management work occurring on federal, tribal, state, and private lands in the bay. Willapa Bay, a 60,000-acre estuary, is home to a diversity of native plants and animals, and is an important stop-over site for migrating birds. Since its accidental introduction in the early 1900s as packing material for imported oysters, the invasive cordgrass spartina has colonized 7,400 acres. Spartina threatens the ecology of the bay by choking out native plants and creating meadows that raise the elevation of mudflats. A multi-agency spartina control program, implemented in 1995, has reduced the infestation to 4,300 acres.