Misery Point Preserve
Featured photo: Aerial of Misery Point by Anthony Gibbons.
The Twana name of this point from the Skokomish Tribe is duxʷ’axa∙′dač, meaning the place that is like an arm. “Misery Point” likely took its name from the smallpox epidemic that devastated Native American tribes in the 19th century. While the name remembers a tragic past, today this magnificent saltwater lagoon on the western side of Seabeck Bay is a peaceful oasis for the wildlife and nearby residents that call it home. The local community includes several generations of families that spent decades on this Hood Canal shoreline: crabbing, harvesting shellfish, and creating recreational opportunities at what became the nearby Scenic Beach State Park. GPC hopes to have public access opportunities on the property in the future, including a kayak stop on the Kitsap Peninsula Water Trails.
Despite the development opportunities on this shoreline, the forested point has remained largely untouched for years. Feeder bluffs forge pristine habitat, as do the wetlands and the lagoon’s barrier beach. The eelgrass laden shoreline is an ideal home for forage fish, including surf smelt, sandlance, and herring, which endangered salmon feed upon as they make their seaward journey. With plentiful native flora, Misery Point is home to extensive shellfish, marine life, and birds. The endangered marbled murrelet has even been spotted fishing nearby.
In 2020 the Washington State Department of Ecology was awarded $5 million in grants through the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program. GPC received a $1 million subgrant and was the Department of Ecology’s implementing partner to acquire the Misery Point property. GPC also received matching state funds from the Salmon Recovery Funding Board to secure the $1.8 million, 20.7-acre property in December 2020.
National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program
Washington State Department of Ecology
Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office, Salmon Recovery Funding Board
U.S. Navy REPI Program
Hood Canal Environmental Council
Kitsap Audubon Society