The Seattle-based land trust Forterra just secured protection of 17.6 acres of shoreline habitat on the picturesque Anderson Island of Pierce County. The Seattle Times called it a “keystone acquisition” by the land trust to help “preserve core ecological and recreation values in Puget Sound, even as the region grows.”
This project continues Forterra’s work on Anderson Island. The nonprofit helped found Jacobs Point Park with the Anderson Island Park and Recreation District when it secured the initial 82 acres for the park in 2011. With the new addition, Jacobs Point Park will now expand to 100 acres and become the largest protected marine park in South Puget Sound.
In the rapidly urbanizing Puget Sound, any shoreline protection is valuable. “There is not a lot of Puget Sound shoreline that could be developed that hasn’t been,” said Adam Draper, acting vice president of conservation for Forterra.
Plus, it’s accessible. The park sits on East Oro Bay, putting it within easy reach of Pierce County, just a 20-minute ferry ride from Steilacoom. It’s also on the regional Cascade Marine Trail, with plans to make connecting trails. “It’s easy to get to, it’s beautiful and way more accessible than the San Juans,” Draper said of the island. “This is just the kind of public access and recreation that will be needed as the region grows, it is really pristine.”
This acquisition could not have been made possible without the Nisqually Land Trust, which provided crucial support to the project when grant funding fell short at the eleventh hour. “The salmon component is what compelled us,” said Joe Kane, executive director of the Nisqually Land Trust. “We need to protect any shoreline like this that is left.”
This conservation feat was also made possible with support from the Pierce County Conservation Futures Program, the Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account administered by WA State’s Recreation and Conservation Office, and the Anderson Island Parks and Recreation District.
Read more about the Anderson Island purchase: