Washington Has Received Big Money From Federal Wetlands Grants Program

Photo by Anthony Gibbons

WASHINGTON PROJECTS WITH 2020 FUNDING
For the full list of approved projects nationwide, download the coastal wetlands grants project summaries (PDF 540 kb).

Misery Point, $1 million

Located near Seabeck on Hood Canal, this 21-acre property with 3,500 feet of shoreline includes a 1,600-foot-long sand spit sheltering a three-acre lagoon.

A “feeder bluff” on Misery Point provides sand and gravel to area beaches.
Photo: Great Peninsula Conservancy

“Feeder bluffs” on the property provide sand and gravel for the sand spit and nutrients for eelgrass beds that offer habitat for juvenile salmon, including Puget Sound Chinook and Hood Canal summer chum, both listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The eelgrass also supports herring, an important food source for salmon, marine mammals and birds.

Despite development opportunities, the forested point has remained largely untouched, maintaining habitat for all sorts of marine life, including shellfish and birds. Some observers have reported seeing the endangered marbled murrelet fishing offshore.

Great Peninsula Conservancy, the local sponsor, has applied for state funds to complete the $1.7-million purchase, according to Nathan Daniel, executive director of GPC.

“By protecting this critical habitat, GPC, our members, and our partners are helping protect the food web that allows iconic species, such as our resident killer whales, to continue to call the Hood Canal home,” Nate said in an email.

Public access to the property is being planned — including a possible stopover point for paddlers following the Kitsap Peninsula National Water Trails.

The name “Misery Point,” which apparently derives from a tragic smallpox epidemic in the 1800s, may hold a certain mystique, Nate observed, but it may not be the best name for this future nature preserve.

“It is still a bit early to make the final decision on the preserve’s name,” he said, “but we feel giving this natural area a traditional title recommended by our local tribal partners would be a more appropriate way to honor both the first people living here as well as pointing to the ecological value of the habitat.”