Cohoe Beach: An Amazing Gift from the De Bruyn Family

Photo by Brian Finrow

Dave De Bruyn has kayaked by Cohoe Beach many times from his nearby home north of Kingston. Each time, he was amazed to find such a pristine stretch of shoreline on busy Puget Sound. When he learned Great Peninsula Conservancy had an opportunity to purchase Cohoe Beach, he knew he wanted to be part of protecting his home paddling waters. So he made the extraordinary commitment to provide full funding for Great Peninsula Conservancy to buy it, with a closing date on Friday, December 14th.

The seven-acre Cohoe Beach property is adjacent to a thirty-acre county-owned property envisioned as a future park. Together, these properties protect 2100 feet of exceptional shoreline with tidelands that extend nearly one quarter mile out before dropping. The result? A unique home for creatures big and small, including the forage fish, shellfish, and water birds who feed and dwell in the shallow water, and the massive grey, humpback, and orca whales who swim and hunt in the depths off the shelf.

WA Dept. of Ecology, Cohoe Beach and surrounding area tidelands

The land has a history of recreational use as well. In the 1920s and 30s Cohoe Beach was the site of Camp Cohoe: “A Salt Water Camp for Girls.” Girls spent four to eight weeks at camp, learning canoeing, sailing, hiking, fishing, and camping but also bed making and meal prep. They were asked to bring not only a hatchet and jack knife but “Several Good Books and Victrola Records.”

Photo by Brian Finrow

The beach is quieter now than during its heyday as a summer camp. During high tide it’s the perfect destination for kayakers launching at Hansville or Kingston, and during low tide one can take an amazing two-mile walk from the Point No Point Lighthouse.

Dave De Bruyn (at left) on Cohoe Beach

Many thanks to Dave and Katherine De Bruyn, longtime GPC members, who saved this special place for future generations to enjoy! Additional thanks to Kitsap Audubon Society and Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe who provided supplemental grants to complete the project — and to all our members who donated to our 2018 Challenge to save the spectacular shorelines of the Great Peninsula!

Photo by Brian Finrow