Tour of California Creek Estuary

Whatcom Land Trust Hosts a Tour of the Proposed Park at California Creek Estuary

On August 15th the Whatcom Land Trust and the Blaine-Birch Bay Park and Recreation District co-sponsored a site visit to the recently purchased 12.5 acre properties located at the mouth of California Creek which drains into Drayton Harbor.

The Land Trust acquired these properties to protect estuarine and shore line habitat, and for public recreation and access.  Following restoration of the property and repayment of a loan with the Conservation Fund, the property is intended to be transferred to the Park District with its conservation values permanently protected through a conservation easement. The Park District will then manage the property and has plans to develop a Blaine-Birch Bay Trail while maintaining estuarine habitat of the southern portion of the property. The Land Trust will hold the conservation easement.

Restoration work began in summer 2018, along with the demolition of barns and outbuildings.  Both remaining homes are scheduled for removal in summer 2020 or before.  In-stream restoration will begin later this summer while planting and invasive removal is already underway.

Acquisition, restoration, and future Park Development along California Creek is all about partnerships!   Whatcom Land Trust, Park District, Conservation Fund and State Agencies on purchase:  Natural Resource Conservation Service, Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association, Whatcom Conservation District, Birch Bay Watershed and Aquatic Management District, North Cascades Audubon Society, SeaGrant program for European green crab monitoring, and others for restoration, outreach and education.

Legislative Tour at California Creek Estuary

We want to give a special thank-you to all who joined our tour!

From left to right:

Ted Morris – Director of the Blaine-Birch Bay Park and Recreation District 2

Shelli Moore – Blaine-Birch Bay Park and Recreation District Commissioner

Luanne Van Werven – Representing the 42nd District

Barry Wenger – Rose Foundation Advisory Committee

Caitlin Guthrie – Conservation Fund

Kaylee Galloway – Community Liaison, Mt Vernon office for U.S. Congresswomen Susan DelBene

Rich Bowers – Executive Director, Whatcom Land Trust

Sharon Shewmake – Representing the 42nd District

Nick Norton – Executive Director, Washington Association of Land Trusts

Jennifer Mackey – Stewardship Director, Whatcom Land Trust

Michael Penuelas – Legislative Assistant for Sharon Shewmake

Betsy Robblee – Washington Wildlife & Recreation Coalition

Gabe Epperson – Conservation Director, Whatcom Land Trust

Not shown, but in attendance taking photos: Karen Parker – Communications and Outreach Director, Whatcom Land Trust, and

Kira Erickson from The Northern Light Press.

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