Watersheds, stream corridors, and wetlands provide habitat for an incredibly diverse array of fish and wildlife, which are critical to our island community. Intact, healthy watersheds provide groundwater recharge and protect us from increased flooding due to climate change. “We have over 47 miles of streams here on the Island, and the Bainbridge Island Land Trust believes that now is the time to do everything possible to protect these vital areas,” said Cullen Brady, Executive Director of the organization.
A step towards achieving this goal was the protection of the beautiful 23-acre Springbrook Creek Preserve in 2019. Springbrook Creek is home to many fish species including cutthroat trout, sculpin, lamprey, and coho and chum salmon. This nearly 1,000-acre watershed is designated as critical habitat for Puget Sound steelhead. The Land Trust-led restoration of this important stream corridor will ripple past the shores of Bainbridge Island to support salmon and orca in Puget Sound.
At the same time, their Stand for the Land campaign (which has protected over 120 acres since 2017) is still actively safeguarding natural areas across the Island. In early 2022, the wildlife-rich 35-acre Rockaway Bluff Preserve was expanded to a total of 45 acres with the addition of wetlands and a seasonal stream. Most recently, the Land Trust is working to permanently protect the 10 acres immediately north of Miller-Kirkman Preserve near Manzanita Bay. This preserve encompasses the brackish estuary of Manzanita Creek, a vital salmon stream for the region, and these new 10 acres hold a rich wetland complex that provides ample room for young salmon to grow into strong, healthy adults. Puget Sound Energy is proud to support these efforts. Learn more about Bainbridge Island Land Trust’s work by visiting www.bi-landtrust.org.