State seeks input on possible expansion of Nisqually Aquatic Reserve
News Date: 
November 22, 2019

Community input sought at Dec. 3 meeting in Longbranch

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is considering a 5,400-acre expansion of the Nisqually Reach Aquatic Reserve. Agency staff will be on hand for a public meeting about the proposal Dec. 3 in Longbranch.
The proposal to expand the reserve, which was established in 2011 and currently encompasses 14,826 acres of state-owned aquatic lands, would include shorelines around McNeil Island and parts of the Key Peninsula.
What:  Nisqually Reach Aquatic Reserve Expansion Open House
When:  6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 3
Where:  Longbranch Improvement Club
4312 Key Peninsula Hwy SW
 Longbranch, WA 98351
DNR staff will provide a brief presentation on the proposal and answer community questions at the Dec. 3 open house along with members of the Nisqually Reach Nature Center, who proposed the reserve expansion. The Center requested the reserve expansion earlier this year, citing the importance of the area’s shorelines and deep waters to sea anemones, soft corals, sponges, decorator crabs, rock crabs, spot shrimp, spiny dogfish, rockfish, and salmon.
Aquatic Reserves
DNR’s Aquatic Reserves are some of Washington’s most diverse and important aquatic environments. Designation as a reserve means these areas are managed through plans developed by communities to conserve and enhance natural habitats on state-owned aquatic lands managed by DNR.
Through its eight aquatic reserves, DNR promotes the preservation, restoration and enhancement of state-owned aquatic lands that are of special educational, scientific or environmental interest. The aquatic reserve designation does not affect private property, adjacent land ownership, hunting or fishing. Always check the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website for up-to-date information on hunting and fishing and shellfishing regulations.
DNR takes a collaborative approach towards reserve management and encourages public and stakeholder input. Each aquatic reserve has a management plan with reserve-specific goals and objectives.
Joe Smillie  
Communications Manager
Cell: 360-688-3392