The Nature Conservancy has bought 17.4 acres on the west shore of Dabob Bay on Hood Canal, near Quilcene. It will be managed for conservation as part of the Dabob Natural Resource Area.
“To restore Puget Sound, we need clean water and healthy beaches. By buying this property, we’re able to protect shorelines, bluffs and forests that are essential to the water quality in this natural nursery for shellfish, and ultimately in Puget Sound,” said Karen Anderson, the Conservancy’s Washington director.
The property purchased by the Conservancy was privately owned and being marketed for residential development. This new acquisition adds to the mosaic of protected lands around the shoreline of Dabob Bay, also known as Tarboo-Dabob Bay for the important salmon-spawning stream at the bay’s head.
The Nature Conservancy is seeking to help reconnect coastal forests and freshwater systems to the marine waters of Hood Canal and Puget Sound. Protecting and restoring natural shorelines in Dabob Bay is key to the overall restoration of Hood Canal and Puget Sound.
Dabob Bay is one of the largest and highest quality salt marsh estuaries in Puget Sound, and is vital for orcas, chinook and chum salmon, forage fish such as sand lance and surf smelt, many species of shorebirds, and shellfish like the native Olympia oyster as well as commercial species. There are six family-owned shellfish companies on the bay, supporting about 25 jobs. Protecting these shorelines supports these jobs by protecting the bay’s forests and clean water, which are vital to the health of the aquaculture industry.
The Conservancy has demonstrated a nearly 25-year commitment to conservation in Dabob Bay. In 1986, the Conservancy established a conservation easement on one of the three coastal spits in the bay. In addition, the state Department of Natural Resources established the original boundary of the Dabob Bay Natural Area to protect the other two coastal spits and surrounding salt marsh and forests.
In 2009, the Natural Area boundary was expanded, giving DNR the ability to work with willing landowners to acquire land or conservation easements for addition to the Dabob Bay Natural Area.
Recent successes include Conservancy acquisition and restoration of 30 acres of coastal forest one mile north of this property and dedication of Jefferson County’s Broad Spit Park, located just south of Hopkins, for shoreline habitat conservation. This latest acquisition will complement these efforts.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
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