KITSAP COUNTY — Fifty acres of high bluff marine shoreline and 17 acres of tidelands on Hood Canal in Mason and Kitsap counties have been protected due to a unique partnership.
Great Peninsula Conservancy and Hood Canal Coordinating Council have teamed to conserve, restore and protect marine shoreline and tideland habitats. These new preserves will provide protection for marine shoreline and intertidal habitats and sanctuary for fish and wildlife.
Fees paid by developers as compensation for impacts to marine shoreline and tidelands were used to purchase, restore and permanently protect other marine shoreline habitats. As a team, the Hood Canal Coordinating Council and Great Peninsula Conservancy (GPC) search for marine shoreline acquisition and restoration opportunities. The Coordinating Council’s mitigation program funded the acquisition and restoration of the properties. GPC became the owner of the newly acquired land and will ensure its permanent protection.
In April, the groups protected 31 acres near Little Dewatto Bay at the southern end of Hood Canal. The new Dewatto Shoreline Preserve includes 1,700 feet of high bluff shoreline, as well as tidelands, streams and forest. The shoreline is an important spawning area for surf smelt that lay their eggs at night in the upper intertidal zone. Surf smelt are an important food for salmon and halibut.
The Dewatto Preserve is adjacent to state forest land and lies within an area currently pending designation as a Natural Resource Conservation Area by the Washington Department of Natural Resources.
In January, the groups protected 20 acres now known as the Bob and Melissa Olson Shoreline Preserve, between Vinland and Lofall at the northern end of Hood Canal. The property includes 490 feet of Hood Canal shoreline; six acres of tidelands; a salmon stream, with fall chum, running through a steep ravine; and mature forest. The acquisition of this property allowed for the protection of one of the few remaining larger marine shoreline parcels north of Bangor.
Hood Canal Coordinating Council will conduct restoration actions, including removing small structures, controlling invasive plants and planting native shrubs and trees on both properties. Conservation of these properties will contribute to mitigation for development activities at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor and for mitigation of the construction of private bulkheads in Mason County.