KEY NORTH AMERICAN MIGRATION SITES FOR
Red Knots & Semipalmated Sandpipers

Willapa Bay and Longbeach Peninsula

Washington, USA

Willapa Bay and the Long Beach Peninsula represent the largest remaining tidal mudflat and coastal salt marsh habitat in southwestern Washington and the second–largest estuary on the United States Pacific coast.

This long stretch of relatively pristine coastline provides excellent foraging and resting conditions for hundreds of thousands of migrating shorebirds each spring, as well as nesting snowy plovers on Long Beach peninsula.

Key objectives

Key objectives for this project site were the nomination of the site as a Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN) Landscape of International Importance and outreach to communities about the site’s significance for shorebirds. In May 2017, Willapa Bay and the Long Beach Peninsula were designated as the 97th WHSRN site, joining a handful of other sites along North America’s Pacific Coast that have been identified as critical shorebird habitat. Shorebird conservation outreach to nearby communities included classroom education and a youth sign project, whereby youth-designed shorebird conservation signs were installed on beaches and in other public places to remind visitors not to disturb feeding and resting shorebirds.

Multi-partner program

An independent, multi-partner program to eradicate non-native cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) has also restored nearly 8,000 acres of estuarine habitat for shorebirds and other native wildlife.