Willapa Bay & Long Beach Peninsula - Columbia Land Trust

Willapa Bay & Long Beach Peninsula

Kayaking Island Lake Forest
  • Number of Projects:9
  • Acreage: 1615
  • 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.

Photo by: Jay Kosa
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