Miller Bay Preserve
A wall of evergreens lines the busy road that runs adjacent to Miller Bay in North Kitsap. On foot, a scramble through the thick brush and downed trees leads toward the bay. The sound of the cars grows faint and birdsong fills the air. Light filters through the native hemlock, spruce, and cedar, bringing life to the trillium, Indian plum, salmonberry, and ferns that grow along the banks. Looking out over the bay it’s easy to feel at peace in this pocket of green and forget about the busy world nearby.
Great Peninsula Conservancy’s Miller Bay Preserve will conserve 13 acres of pristine shoreline and upland forest on north Miller Bay. At low tide the estuary waters recede, revealing expansive mudflats and a meandering stream that runs through the “gooseneck” of Miller Bay to the mouth of Grovers Creek. On the shoreline, overhanging plants create habitat for juvenile salmon to feed on insects and plankton. Birds nest in the forest’s mossy undergrowth and forage along the water.
The Miller Bay Preserve lies adjacent to GPC’s Kawahara Preserve and a 40-acre forest property owned by the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The 13-acre preserve links these three properties, and together they protect 56 acres of forest and 1,575 continuous feet of shoreline. Half a mile upstream lies GPC’s Durham Preserve, which protects a significant stretch of Grovers Creek and associated wetlands. Together, the conserved lands provide a wildlife corridor for deer, river otter, and black bear, and critical habitat for endangered chinook salmon and steelhead trout, as well as chum and coho salmon, and cutthroat trout.
Miller Bay Preserve Campaign
In order to purchase the Miller Bay Preserve, Great Peninsula Conservancy received $150,000 from the Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program and contributed $105,000 from the Grovers Creek Campaign. In the summer of 2019, Friends of Miller Bay partnered with GPC to raise the remaining $150,000 needed to purchase the land. Thanks to many generous local community members, the funds were secured and the preserve will be protected forever!