Woodard Bay NRCA will reopen March 15
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Woodard Bay NRCA will reopen March 15 


March 11, 2013 

Woodard Bay NRCA will reopen March 15
Site has been closed since October 2012 for restoration work

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will reopen much of the Woodard Bay Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA) after it was closed October 2012, for restoration activities. The area was closed to protect public safety, as earth-moving equipment and trucks were used for the project.

The Loop Trail and Whitham Road Trail will reopen March 15 along with new viewing access to Woodard Bay (see map). However, the Overlook Trail on the south side of Woodard Bay NRCA will temporarily close on March 25 to protect seasonally nesting herons and eagles.

Restoration Completed 
Earthen fill removal
Contractors removed roughly 16,000 cubic yards of earthen fill from Woodard Bay at the location of the old train trestle that was removed in 2010, improving water circulation in the bay. Contractors also removed derelict structures from Chapman Bay. This project not only improved environmental conditions, but also reduced safety hazards and improved public access. The project was funded by the state legislature’s 2012 Jobs Now Act and cost approximately $450,000.
This project opened public access to the newly restored Woodard Bay shoreline. This portion of the site had been closed for more than 20 years to protect public safety.
Creosote removal
A separate contractor removed 500 tons of creosote-treated material from Chapman Bay Pier, including 200 pilings, 9,000 square feet of structure off the north end of the pier, and 2 trestles jutting off the west side of the pier. These trestles burned in an arson fire 10 years ago and presented an environmental health and public safety concerns. This project, which cost $250,000, was also funded by the state Jobs Now Act.

The third phase of the project will remove a creosote-treated pier from the conservation area. Previous projects have removed 2,000 tons of creosoted material—the Woodard Bay Trestle, portions of the Chapman Bay Pier, and 600 anchor pilings. DNR has now removed 50 percent of the pier. The remaining 50 percent supports summer roost habitat for the largest known maternity colony of bats in Washington State. No additional creosote removal projects are planned at Woodard Bay NRCA for the foreseeable future.

Directions and web link
For directions and more information on Woodard Bay NRCA, please visit:

A map of the area including the new Woodard Bay viewing access: www.dnr.wa.gov/Publications/amp_rec_woodard_bay_map.pdf

DNR-managed conservation lands
DNR manages 55 natural area preserves (NAPs) and 35 natural resources conservation areas (NRCAs) on more than 150,000 acres statewide. NAPs protect high-quality examples of native ecosystems and rare plant and animal species. They serve as genetic reserves for Washington’s native species and as reference sites for comparing natural and altered environments. The 35 NRCAs protect lands having high conservation values for ecological systems, scenic qualities, wildlife habitat, and low-impact recreational opportunities. Environmental education and approved research projects occur on both NAPs and NRCAs.

Jobs Now Act 2012
To boost the state’s economy, the 2012 Washington Legislature directed $505 million in the Jobs Now Act to quickly create thousands of jobs in the state. DNR received $37 million of this funding for a broad range of jobs that include removing invasive species, cleaning up beaches, replacing culverts to improve fish passage, restoring shorelines, protecting natural resources, improving recreation facilities, maintaining and enhancing urban forests, and increasing fire protection. To accomplish this work DNR has emphasized the creation of private sector jobs through contracts.

Media Contact: Diana Lofflin, Natural Areas Program Communications Manager, 360-902-1169, diana.lofflin@dnr.wa.gov  

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