Point Whitehorn Marine Reserve

54 Acres, mature forest, forested wetlands, marine shoreline, access to two+ miles of public beach
Location: Strait of Georgia

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Georgia Strait shoreline: intertidal creatures, shorebirds, seal pups. Just off shore: loons, cormorants, gulls, grebes, porpoises, sea lions, kelp forests. The San Juan Islands frame the view. To the southeast, an industrial pier. To the northwest, private property. Up on the headland, a tempting spot for a new residential development.

The story of the Point Whitehorn Marine Reserve is a little complicated:  BC Hydro offered Whatcom Land Trust a piece of property south of today’s Reserve. Ecologically, the quality of the property wasn’t that great, but WLT developed a plan to secure a much better piece. In 1999, hundreds of gallons of gasoline leaked from a pipeline in central Bellingham and exploded. Fines were levied and grants were established with those funds. With one of those grants, WLT purchased the “lesser” property from BC Hydro, then offered it to Trillium Corporation in trade for the wooded wetland and .3 miles of Georgia Strait shoreline property that is now this Whatcom County Park. Employing creative strategies and pursuing all available resources, WLT was able to preserve this beautiful spot from development and provide easy access to an additional two miles of shoreline owned by the Department of Natural Resources.

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Alligator Lizard

Whatcom Land Trust donated this property to Whatcom County Parks for passive recreational use, but WLT’s responsibilities continue through holding the conservation easement that will ensure that this 54 acres remains as intact, viable habitat forever. In an area under both industrial and residential pressures, the preservation of this increasingly rare gem is a gratifying accomplishment.

 

 

 

 


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