With Columbia Land Trust's latest 30-acre acquisition, we're expanding our conservation and restoration efforts at the mouth of the Deep River.
The Grays Bay watershed in Washington is one of the largest and most important watersheds in the lower Columbia River estuary. Just 15 miles upstream of Chinook, the watershed includes the Grays River, Deep River, and Crooked Creek among other, smaller streams. Grays Bay and the lower tidal portion of the rivers provide invaluable habitat for migrating juvenile salmon and steelhead from throughout the Columbia basin. The area also hosts huge numbers and a diversity of migratory waterfowl, shorebirds, and songbirds. Due to its importance and conservation and restoration opportunity, Columbia Land Trust has conserved and is restoring numerous properties in the watershed.
Columbia Land Trust is in the process of acquiring a set of properties at the mouth of the Deep River. In the past 2 years, we have purchased 2 properties totaling 157 acres and on September 15, 2015 we acquired 30 acres, bringing our total up to 187 acres. These properties were historically all intertidal Sitka spruce wetlands, but were diked off from the river 100 years ago. In time, the Land Trust hopes to restore the connection between these wetlands, greatly benefiting juvenile salmon and steelhead species. They will be conserved to benefit wildlife and people forever.
Deep River and Grays Bay are best accessed by boat. There is a Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife boat launch just upstream from the newly acquired land.