West Oakland Bay

West Oakland Bay restoration site, Mason County.

OLYMPIA — Washington Department of Ecology and Squaxin Island Tribe recently announced more than $1.5 million in secure funding in National Coastal Wetlands Conservation grants.

The Skookum Valley Wetland Acquisition received $564,000 in grant funding. Working in partnership with the Squaxin Island Tribe, the funding will be used to help acquire and permanently protect 158 acres of wetlands and shorelines along Skookum Creek that flows directly to Puget Sound in Mason County.

West Oakland Bay Restoration Phase 2 received $1 million in grant funding. Department of Ecology officials working along side the Squaxin Island Tribe partnered to put the second phase of restoring critical coastal wetlands in place in West Oakland Bay in Shelton. The project will restore 28 acres of salt marsh, lost when an industrial harbor was created more than a century ago.

The program is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and funded in part through taxes paid on equipment and fuel purchases by recreational anglers and boaters. Established in 1990, the federal conservation program provides up to $1 million for individual wetland projects in coastal and Great Lake states as well as U.S. territories.

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