OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which manages 2.6 million acres of state-owned aquatic lands, is collaborating with the United States Navy to safeguard Navy operations in Hood Canal from encroachment and preserve the local marine environment.
“The Department of Natural Resources is partnering with the Navy to protect Military Operating Areas and ensure the long-term stability of their presence at Naval Base Kitsap and their operations in adjacent waterways,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “This partnership will also provide new protections for sensitive marine ecosystems, safeguard public access, and support the jobs that depend on the Navy’s continued presence in the region.”
“I have no doubt that this partnership will be a win-win for both the Navy and the Washington Department of Natural Resources. It will enhance environmental conservation along a portion of the Hood Canal and prevent encroachment into Navy operating ranges that are so vital to our mission and our national security,” said Captain Peter M. Dawson, commanding officer of Naval Base Kitsap.
DNR and the Navy entered into an agreement in 2012 to partner on projects as part of the Navy’s Compatibility, Readiness, and Sustainment Program. Under this agreement, Navy has proposed to purchase an easement from DNR that will extend from the Hood Canal Bridge down to an area just south of the Jefferson County and Mason County border in the Eldon area.
The easement will not permit new construction by the Navy, nor will it affect public access, privately owned lands, recreational uses, or aquaculture or geoduck harvest. The practical effect of the agreement will be to preclude new near-shore commercial or industrial construction along the areas of the Hood Canal and neighboring waterways managed by DNR where the Navy operates.
Media Contact: Matthew Randazzo, Special Assistant to the Commissioner of Public Lands, (360) 902-1099, Matthew.Randazzo@dnr.wa.gov or Liane Nakahara, Navy Region Northwest Public Affairs, (360) 396-1630, firstname.lastname@example.org.