Willapa Bay & Long Beach Peninsula

Kayaking Island Lake Forest
  • Number of Projects:9
  • Acreage: 1425
  • Fact: The green sturgeon of Willapa Bay are among the largest cartilaginous fish in the world, reaching seven feet in length and weighing up to 350 pounds.
  • Experience: Beaches, sand dunes, marshes, lakes, and old-growth forests all come together to create a coastal wonderland for wildlife and the people who call this Pacific haven home.
  • What We’re Doing: Conserving and caring for coastal dunes, forests, wetlands, streams, riverfront, and bayfront land. Protecting the drinking water supply by conserving the freshwater wetlands that help groundwater recharge and stay clean.

Contact Us About This Project

The Big Picture

Encompassing more than 260 square miles , Willapa Bay is the second-largest estuary on the Pacific Coast and is very much a Northwest treasure. Columbia Land Trust conserved its first property on Long Beach Peninsula in 2001—a small property around Hines Marsh, a 900-acre wetland often billed as the largest “interdunal wetland” on the West Coast. Conserving lands that protect drinking water, wildlife areas, and rare habitats motivate our work here.

Why It Matters

Thanks to low population density and a lack of industrial development, wildlife still thrives on the Long Beach Peninsula and in Willapa Bay. More than 100,000 shorebirds rest and feed during the spring migration; five salmon species pass through the bay en route to natal rivers on the east side of the bay; green and white sturgeon, those bizarrely prehistoric fish, find refuge in the bay itself. The waters of Willapa Bay are relatively pristine, but pristine doesn’t mean unchanged of course. Invasive species, such as spartina, are a constant threat to area waters. By protecting freshwater wetlands, we’re not only protecting wildlife habitat, but also the peninsula’s drinking water, essential to local economies and human health.

Seal Slough, photo by Maya Dooley
Featured Story

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Columbia Land Trust sneaks one more major conservation success into 2016 with the conservation of 374 acres on Willapa Bay.

On December 30th, the Land Trust acquired 374 acres of tidal wetland and upland forest along Seal Slough on East Willapa Bay, located just south of Lynn Point in Pacific County, Washington. Willapa Bay salmon and steelhead, eulachon (smelt), migratory shorebirds and waterfowl, black bear, and Roosevelt elk all rely on the area for habitat.…

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Updates from the Field
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The Long Arc of a Short River
Columbia Land Trust’s recent 285-acre conservation success builds on a broader effort to support a unique wetland ecosystem along Washington’s Baker Bay.

Washington’s Chinook River empties into Baker Bay at the mouth of the Columbia River a mere six miles from its headwaters. What the river lacks in size it makes up for in the diversity of wildlife its wetland habitat supports. It’s a place where the history of salmon, the region, and its people are deeply…

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[TOUR] Canoes & Coastal Native Plants

  Many of us visit the beaches of the coast, but seldom have enough time to discover the true biodiversity of the plants, waters, and wildlife. Join us this summer on a canoe trip on Island Lake, which is surrounded by Land Trust-conserved land on the Long Beach Peninsula with Conservation Manager Nadia Gardner and…

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2016 in Review
Ten ways you made a difference for the nature of the northwest in 2016.

It wasn’t always easy (meaningful conservation rarely is), but with your support, we were able to protect and restore important places throughout the Columbia River region while building strong relationships along the way. From the remote forests of Klickitat Canyon to backyard habitats in urban neighborhoods, take a look back at some of our greatest accomplishments…

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