The Washington-based Lummi Island Heritage Trust has purchased a quarry on Lummi Island, Wash. “The Heritage Trust now owns the quarry property, with responsibility for preservation in perpetuity consistent with the Trust’s mission and conservation values,” the organization said in a release. Lummi Island Heritage Trust, a nationally accredited land trust, has now conserved 1,088 acres of land on Lummi Island.
Following two years of work to secure the quarry property, the Heritage Trust worked to secure grants and private donations totaling $1.18 million toward purchase. An additional $370,000 is being raised to fund acquisition-related costs and the Trust is in the process of launching a capital campaign to raise these funds.
This property has both local and regional conservation significance and has attracted numerous partners for both purchase and restoration. The Puget Sound Marine and Nearshore Shore Program has awarded the Trust a $600,000 Marine Shoreline Protection grant, and Whatcom County has committed $400,000 toward the purchase. The Rose Foundation has awarded $100,000 to begin restoration feasibility work.
Other partners in the project include the Northwest Straits Foundation, Washington Department of Natural Resources, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Lummi Nation, Whatcom County Marine Resources Committee, and many private individuals. Whatcom County Parks and Recreation will acquire an easement with the Heritage Trust to help develop a low-impact saltwater access preserve in the future. The property is closed to the public until a restoration plan has been achieved and safety issues for public access can be addressed.
The Heritage Trust will implement an extensive reclamation project, partnering with Northwest Straits Foundation, Whatcom County, and the Washington Department of Natural Resources to repair and revegetate landscapes to a more natural state.
Undertaking this reclamation is a first for the Heritage Trust. The first phase of reclamation will be to determine appropriate strategies to address the 20 acres of uplands altered by mining activity and 500 ft. of shoreline used for barging gravel and rock from the mine while ensuring the area is safe for what will one day be a saltwater access preserve for low-impact public use is. Once implemented, this reclamation will help mitigate the cumulative impacts on the marine natural resources resulting from mining activities of the area, the organization said.
In the future, the renewed and reclaimed habitats will be home to a variety of marine creatures and upland flora and fauna, as well as for low-impact human use.