California Creek Estuary

Land trust owned, Facilitation

Ownership Type


Total Acres
At the south end of Drayton Harbor, the California Creek Estuary is a refuge for salmon, forage fish, and migrating shorebirds. The Land Trust has been working for more than five years to protect and restore the sensitive coastal wetlands and forests surrounding the estuary, helping contribute clean, clear water to Drayton Harbor. Over the years, hundreds of Whatcom Land Trust volunteers have visited California Creek to remove acres of invasive species and plant native trees.

The property

Over the past five years Whatcom Land Trust has acquired nearly 100 acres of riparian forest and wetlands along the California Creek Estuary at the mouth of Drayton Harbor. California Creek, a tidally influenced estuary, hosts a complex system of mudflats and side-channels supporting salmon, forage fish, waterfowl, and shorebird habitat. The riparian forests and wetlands along the creek are also vital for maintaining water quality in Drayton Harbor, which is a priority shellfish harvest area that supports commercial, tribal, and recreation shellfish harvest. Drayton Harbor is also a nationally designated Important Bird Area, supporting a wide variety of wintering waterfowl and migrating shorebirds. Whatcom Land Trust is partnering with the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association, Whatcom Conservation District, and Blaine-Birch Bay Parks district to complete restoration along the estuary and plan for low-impact recreation access, connecting the community to this unique resource.