The Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account (ALEA) is responsible for providing funds for public access projects and to protect and re-establish the natural ecological functions of aquatic lands within Washington State.
In 1984 the Washington State Legislature created ALEA to ensure that revenue generated from state-owned aquatic land leases went back to helping restore aquatic environments.
Aquatic Lands include, bedlands, tidelands, shore lands, beds of navigable lakes, rivers, streams and harbor areas.
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources restoration and conservation program has worked on several projects that have improved ecological sustainability around the Puget Sound and water bodies of Washington.
Examples of Projects funded by the Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account
- Removal of bulkheads in order to restore natural beach functions
- Restoring an estuary
- Replacing a waterfront boardwalk
- Restoring shorelines for salmon habitat
- Developing a waterfront park for public access
Examples of DNR Projects funded by the Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account
Woodard Bay Interpretive Rehabilitation Project
DNR's Natural Areas Program used $112,371 from the Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account to remove abandoned facilities, rehabilitate impacted areas, and develop public facilities for site interpretation and low-impact recreation. This project included the addition of a loop trail, education platform, viewing station, boom foreman's office/interpretive center, and interpretive signs.
Chehalis River Surge Plain Interpretive Trail
DNR's Natural Areas Program used $128,475 from the Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account to help develop the Chehalis River Surge Plain Interpretive Trail. The four-mile trail is located on the abandoned Union Pacific railroad grade on the southern boundary of the Chehalis River Surge Plain Natural Area Preserve. The program improved portions of the railroad grade for wheelchair accessibility and opened portions for pedestrian access. The project also included a boardwalk to a wetland adjacent to Preacher's Slough, interpretive signs and viewing platforms. Five parking spaces were also provided at the trailhead.