Location: South Whidbey Island

Acres: 59 acres

Protected in 2015

Overview: The 59-acre Waterman Shoreline Preserve preserve was acquired by the Land Trust in 2015. It safeguards a mosaic of upland forest and freshwater wetlands stretching along 2,000 feet of steep, eroding “feeder” bluffs bordering 26 acres of beach and tidelands. Sediment eroding from the bluffs replenishes the beach and tidelands, nourishing saltwater habitat essential for marine life, such as crabs, endangered Chinook salmon, and gray whales.

The preserve provides rich habitat for wildlife and a place for the community to enjoy. Zimmerman Road, closed for years and used as a paved county trail, runs through the preserve and is open to bicyclists and pedestrians.

History: The Land Trust’s professional staff, supported by generous donations from the community, applied for and won grants totaling $7.8 million in 2014. Three of these—a $1 million National Coastal Wetlands Grant funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a Washington State salmon-recovery grant, and a marine shoreline protection grand funded by the Environmental Protection Agency in partnership with the Washington Departments of Ecology and Fish and Wildlife—funded the $1.5 million purchase price of the Waterman property.

The Land Trust partnered with the Washington Department of Natural Resources to remove a wooden bulkhead that cut off the sediment supply to a 435-foot portion of the beach and released poisonous creosote into Puget Sound. This bulkhead removal was completed in early October 2016.