PORT GAMBLE — A federal grant for $1 million has been awarded for the purchase and preservation of 1.8 miles of shoreline along the west side of Port Gamble Bay in North Kitsap. The approved property acquisition, with money from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will contribute to the goal of acquiring nearly 7,000 acres in North Kitsap from Pope Resources — a community effort known as the Kitsap Forest and Bay Project.
Ultimately, Kitsap County will own the property if the purchase is completed. The $1 million federal grant must be matched with $520,000 in state and local funds. Connor said the grant requirements are complicated, but a variety of funding sources can be used to meet that dollar amount.
The property to be purchased includes 225 acres, including 110 acres of tidelands along Port Gamble Bay south of the town of Port Gamble. “It is almost the whole west side of the bay, a continuous, intact riparian shoreline,” Pascoe said, noting that the upland property contains a stream, Laudine DeCoteau Creek, running to the bay. The shoreline was once used to tie up log booms when the Pope and Talbot sawmill was in operation in Port Gamble. A few wooden pilings are still evident along the shore. Apart from the pilings, the shoreline is natural and provides good habitat for a variety of shellfish, including the native Olympia oyster, Pascoe said.
The $1 million grant for the Port Gamble Bay property is one of 24 grants totaling $20 million nationwide for coastal wetland projects. Eight of the grants will go for land acquisitions in Washington — including projects in Dabob Bay near Quilcene, Snow Creek Marsh near Port Townsend and Oakland Bay near Shelton.
- Tarboo-Dabob Bay, $1 million to protect 119 acres within the 6,300-acre Dabob Bay Natural Area, identified in 2009 as a statewide priority for protection by the Washington Department of Natural Resources.
- Snow Creek Salt March, $815,000 to restore the Snow Creek estuary and nearshore areas, including 21 acres of shoreline estuary and uplands impacted by past development. The project includes removal of a creosote-treated trestle, improvement of 1,760 feet of railroad grade, removal of a private water line and restoration of tide channels.
- Oakland Bay, $1 million to permanently protect 76 acres of sensitive estuary, shoreline and riparian habitat in the Johns Creek area. The project includes restoring 4,000 feet of marine shoreline and returning a golf course to a natural salt marsh.
- The other projects are Fudge Point Shoreline Acquisition, Mason County, $1 million; Lower Dungeness Flood Plain and Estuary Restoration, Clallam County, $930,000; North Livingston Bay Wetlands, Island County, $1 million; and Kindred Island Acquisition, Pacific County, $803,000.