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.

A bird's eye view of the interdunal lakes of Long Beach Peninsula
Featured Story

A Boggy Notion

Fifty-five newly conserved acres on Long Beach Peninsula expand an anchor habitat that supports a unique blend of coastal, wetland, and forest ecosystems.

We’re pleased to announce the conservation of 55 acres in the interior of Long Beach Peninsula in Pacific County, Washington. The conserved wetland property builds on 750 acres Columbia Land Trust has conserved along Island Lake and Loomis Lake directly north, in addition to 460 acres of habitat managed by Washington State Parks and the…

Read More
Updates from the Field
View All
Give More (24!) This Thursday
Join us this Thursday, September 21st, as we kick off our Fearless Conservation campaign with a day of giving in Southwest Washington

  At Columbia Land Trust, we believe that the land can bring us together, wildlife can teach us, and water can nurture our spirit. As Northwesterners, we find strength in stepping outside our comfort zones. We summit mountains and hike hillsides, try out new adventures from birdwatching to backyard restoration, and take time to simply stop…

Read More
Species Spotlight

The imperiled marbled murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus)  is a cup-sized, coastal bird that few people have had the opportunity to observe. Columbia Land Trust has conserved more than 1,600 acres of tidal wetlands and old-growth forests along Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula and Willapa Bay in hopes that the small populations of marbled murrelets remaining will find…

Read More
Small but Mighty
Our newest acquisition connects a small but critical piece of land to one of Washington's largest and most important nesting areas.

  In late June, Columbia Land Trust permanently protected a small piece of land with significant importance to shorebirds and migratory waterfowl on the northern end of Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula near Leadbetter Point State Park. This 27-acre site, consisting of interdunal forests, lakes, and wetlands, builds on 120 acres of wildlife and fish habitat…

Read More