Situated on Anderson Island’s East Oro Bay near the Nisqually River Delta and backed by mature forested uplands and wild native wetlands, the park is approximately 4 nautical miles from the southern tip of the Key Peninsula. The purchase conserves crucial habitat for migrating chinook, chum and pink salmon, in addition to serving spawning surf smelt and sand lance, along with a wide variety of invertebrate species, according to Forterra.
“We are proud of our work that protects vulnerable shoreline and also gifts the people of Puget Sound with amazing views of our natural world,” said Darcey Hughs, Forterra’s conservation transaction manager. “This is a place where people can come hike, paddle, beachcomb or catch sight of a bald eagle, heron or orca.”
Forterra helped create the park with the Anderson Island Park District when it first secured 82 acres on the island in 2011. The property will be accessible to the public for recreational use by boat or by a trail network, providing access to over 1,600 feet of shoreline.
While the park is sure to draw Key Peninsula boating enthusiasts, getting to nearby Anderson Island from the KP by car requires a trip across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and a 20-minute ferry ride from Steilacoom.
Funding for the $258,000 acquisition was provided through the Pierce County Conservation Futures Program, the Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account (administered by the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office), the Nisqually Land Trust and a private funder.
Forterra (formerly Cascade Land Conservancy) is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization based in Seattle.