Aquatic Reserve Expansion

I remember it clearly, on Friday, September 9, 2011, Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark signed the Nisqually Reach Aquatic Reserve (NRAR) Order and Management Plan. This was quite an achievement and well deserving of celebration. It was a culmination of four years of hard work by NRNC staff, board members, and volunteers who spent countless hours collecting data and drafting the management plan for discussion with stakeholders, and navigating some of the internal politics of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Eight years later, we are once again mobilizing folks in the name of conservation, education, and research. At our last implementation committee meeting on February 8th, we discussed expanding the aquatic reserve another 4,500 acres to go around McNeil Island and Wycoff Shoal, and connecting to the south end of Key Peninsula. During the meeting we were informed about large scale restoration on McNeil Island beaches removing tons of debris and new information regarding underwater video transects and potential habitats in the deep. With this new effort in place our stakeholders got together to recognize the importance of the habitats in and around McNeil Island and the need to keep them intact. It is exciting to see the potential of this expansion and the opportunities we can gain by adding this extra 5,700 acres to the reserve.  To view that draft expansion plan click here Nisqually_Reach_Aquatic_Reserve_Expansion_Proposal_FINAL

If you would like more information about the reserve process contact our Executive Director Daniel Hull at 360-790-0547 or email nrnc@nisquallyestuary.org.   Conservation starts with you and if you are interested, join us at our monthly Citizen Stewardship meetings every second Monday of the month at the Nature Center starting at 6pm.