Late in 2022, GPG acquired a small but vital 1.5-acre property at the mouth of Grovers Creek on Miller Bay. This small property includes 200 feet of shoreline, which builds on previous work to create contiguous habitat protection spanning GPC’s Grovers Creek Preserve and Miller Bay. This latest addition brings the total shoreline protected along Miller Bay to over 1700 feet. Future work will help further conserve vital stream, estuary, and forest habitat forever.
Protecting habitat along waterways like Miller Bay is a difficult task, because these properties are often desirable locations for human use. They are also irreplaceable links between terrestrial, marine, and freshwater ecosystems, which is why even comparatively small sections are worth protecting. Healthy waterways support both human and non-human inhabitants and while sharing space is an important part of the puzzle, having habitat that is expressly there for our wild neighbors is important too.
This expansion protects habitat that has already been documented to support a wide variety of animals, many attracted by the salmon and steelhead runs that use the clear and clean waters of Grovers Creek as a natal stream. Upstream of this property Grovers sprawls out into a wetland complex that is vital for young salmon and a multitude of other species. It is not insignificant to note that 40% of all species worldwide, live or breed in wetland ecosystems. Protecting these places, especially in regions that face serious development pressure is of the utmost importance.
GPC staff and volunteers, along with partners at the Friends of Miller Bay, have recorded bear, otters, coyotes, and dozens of bird species using the Grovers Creek estuary. Whether they come for the salmon, to raise their young, or are just passing through, these species need habitat to live their lives. The Miller Bay Expansion is one more step along the path of conserving vital habitat forever.