FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 18, 2010
Commissioner Goldmark rededicates Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve in Whatcom County
After more than a decade, Cherry Point finally receives management plan
OLYMPIA – Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark today rededicated the designation of Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve in Whatcom County. The 3,000 acres of state-owned aquatic lands in the reserve will now have an official management plan that will facilitate future uses of the site.
“Cherry Point marks more than a decade of collaboration with our numerous partners and stakeholders who helped shape a plan that will greatly contribute to the health of Puget Sound,” said Commissioner Goldmark. “By managing this unique site with the best available science and environmental stewardship, we can better ensure that environmental and economic sustainability goes hand-in-hand.”
Cherry Point is known to support a diverse ecosystem of wildlife and habitat, including Cherry Point herring, forage fish, marine and shore birds, and migratory waterfowl. The main purpose of the Cherry Point Plan is to study and assess the reasons why certain species in the area are declining and how we can better improve our uses of the site, while recognizing the importance of the continued industrial and other water-dependent uses currently functioning.
“The Lummi Nation shares a common vision with DNR of preserving, protecting, and enhancing the environment in and around the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve,” said Merle Jefferson, Executive Director of the Lummi Natural Resources Department. “This management plan specifically acknowledges and respects tribal treaty rights.”
DNR Aquatic Reserves Program
The DNR Aquatic Reserves Program was established to promote the preservation, restoration, and enhancement of state-owned aquatic lands. Involvement of the broader scientific, business, and local communities in locating potential reserve sites helps DNR focus on long-term management options for a specific area. By encompassing a network of aquatic reserves, DNR can better research and monitor potential stressors in our aquatic environments, and contribute to the protection and restoration of Puget Sound.
DNR Steward of state aquatic lands
As steward of more than 2.6 million acres of state-owned aquatic lands, DNR manages the bedlands under Puget Sound, the coast, many of Washington’s beaches, and natural lakes and navigable rivers. DNR manages these lands not only to facilitate navigation, commerce, and public access, but also to ensure protection of aquatic habitats. State-owned aquatic lands include:
- About 68,100 acres of state-owned tidelands, or 106 square miles
- 90,000 acres of harbor areas
- All submerged marine lands below extreme low tide—that’s 3,430 square miles of bedlands under navigable waters, as well as freshwater shorelands and bedlands
Peter Goldmark, who administers the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, is Washington’s 13th Commissioner of Public Lands since statehood in 1889.
Media Contact: Abbey Corzine, Communications Specialist, 360-902-1401, firstname.lastname@example.org
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