We learned last week that Zylstra Lake, another of our joint projects with the San Juan County Land Bank, was awarded a $1 million federal coastal wetlands grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). In the words of the USFWS news release, “the project will protect and reintegrate a network of lakes, wetlands and riparian areas with the ocean and protect associated water rights necessary for future stream restoration projects.”

Newsletter_Website_Jan_012916_Hero“This was a comprehensive application process, and it took a lot of talented people from a variety of disciplines to bring it all together,” says Debby Clausen, the Preservation Trust’s Conservation Director and the leader of this application effort. “In particular, the willingness of the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Labs to add their False Bay Preserve to our project was essential to the success of this grant.”

The Preservation Trust and the Land Bank would also like to thank Barbara Rosenkotter, Phil Shephard, and a broad island community of support, along with our partners at the Washington State Department of Ecology, the San Juan Islands Conservation District, the Washington Water Trust, the Trumpeter Swan Society, and the USFWS.

Artist's conception of a bird blind on Lake Zylstra

Artist’s conception of a bird blind on Lake Zylstra

This grant brings us a giant step closer to the $3 million total needed to acquire the Lake Zylstra property. Currently pending: a $1.1 million state grant. We won’t know about that one until the legislature approves the upcoming budget, likely sometime this spring.

Here is the full text of the USFWS news release.