The 2,500 miles of Puget Sound shoreline are vital to our regional ecosystem, economy and way of life. Yet we are losing our Puget Sound shoreline at an alarming rate.
In response declining wildlife and salmon habitat, increased pressure by urban development, and pollution compromising the health of Puget Sound, the land trust community came together to form the Shoreline Conservation Collaborative.
The Shoreline Conservation Collaborative is a coalition of fourteen land trusts with the goal of accelerating the protection and restoration of Puget Sound shoreline. The Collaborative is working with partners and communities across the region to protect and restore our threatened beaches, wetlands, and near-shore habitat across the Sound. These ecosystems provide critical rearing and feeding grounds for juvenile chinook.
Together, we envision our shorelines to be healthy, ecologically vibrant, and accessible for families to connect with nature.
Forestland Forever on the Olympic Peninsula. The Dosewallips and Duckabush Rivers are home to one of the most important stocks of endangered summer chum salmon. Connecting the Olympic Mountains to Hood Canal, these rivers are nestled in highly productive forestland. In 2015, The Trust for Public Land protected 6,284 acres of forest in the two watersheds. A portion of this protected land was added to Dosewallips State Park. Another portion, along the Duckabush River, was added to Jefferson Land Trust’s conservation properties, providing new opportunities for restoration, environmental education, and hiking trails. The remainder of these protected watershed remains in working forest, ensuring the continued availability of that land for carbon sequestration and sustainable timber harvest.
Home of the future Inspiring Kids Preserve. Harmony Farm is the newest Olympia area destination for outdoor education, ecological restoration, and family recreation. Protected by Capitol Land Trust, this Henderson Inlet property boasts a mosaic of habitat types, including 1,300 feet of shoreline, two pocket estuaries, salt marsh, freshwater wetlands, and mature forest. The ecological variety and active restoration on this property make the STEM learning opportunities seem endless, and luckily, Olympia-area kids soon will be out learning on the land. Harmony Farm is the home of the future “Inspiring Kids Preserve,” a place where kids can come to learn, explore, and be restored.
Exceptional shoreline bluffs make a community treasure. If you have ever taken an Anacortes ferry, you have surely spotted the large sandy bluffs along the Guemes Channel. Skagit Land Trust recently protected this iconic bluff, beach, and marine forest on Guemes Island, known to the locals as Kelly’s Point. Not only is this place a community treasure, it is also a key element of the island shoreline ecosystem. The natural erosion of these bluffs supplies the sediment that replenishes nearby beaches and coastal wetlands, sustaining wildlife and protecting the community against sea level rise and storm surges.
Restoring the natural beach on Bainbridge. Bainbridge Island is home to one of the largest shoreline restoration projects on private property in Puget Sound! The Bainbridge Island Land Trust worked in close collaboration with the Powel family to find a way to naturally enhance their property for wildlife. In partnership, they decided to remove the bulkhead and riprap along the shoreline to create a more natural riparian area to ultimately benefit juvenile salmon and other species. In total, the land trust took out a whopping 1/3 mile of bulkhead, removed 1,340 tons of debris, and planted over 2,500 native plants. This restoration has allowed the shore and the sea to finally reconnect, the intertidal area to grow, and natural habitat to be restored, all in a manner compatible with residential use of this property.
As part of a MOU, the Shoreline Conservation Collaborative has set ambitious goals for its first 10 years, seeking to more than triple the impact of its members. Together we will:
• Protect 38 miles (or 200,640 feet) of at-risk shorelines
• Restore 5 miles (or 26,400 feet) of vital shoreline habitat