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March Point Heronry Expands

Thanks to an outpouring of community support, Skagit Land Trust has purchased an additional 3.5 acres of nesting grounds for local Great Blue Herons at the March Point Heronry. This land will be added to 7 acres of the Heronry the Trust already owns and protects as a Conservation Area. The Trust also holds a Conservation Easement on 5 acres of the heronry. In total, the Trust now protects 15.5 acres at March Point.

Close to 200 families, businesses, and organizations heard the call of the herons this summer, and in two short months raised the funds needed to purchase and steward the property. In addition to personal donations, the Trust also received grants from Shell Puget Sound Refinery, Marathon Petroleum, and Seattle Audubon Society’s Martin Miller Habitat Fund.

March Point Heronry trees stacked with nests that support the largest heron breeding area in the Salish Sea.

Skagit Land Trust is delighted to be the stewards of this critical heron habitat. For the past 27 years the Trust has worked to knit together protected lands at this site. The March Point Heronry is small in acreage, but large in importance. At 700+ nests this heronry is the biggest colony of Great Blue Herons on the entire west coast of the United States.

Historically Great Blue Herons have nested in smaller groups across the landscape. As mature coastal forests with tall trees and close proximity to foraging grounds have disappeared, many herons in Skagit County have gathered at March Point. The sheer number of herons breeding, nesting, and rearing their young at March Point provides the genetic diversity necessary to sustain a healthy population of Great Blue Herons in the Salish Sea.

The Trust is also working towards the installation of a new camera monitoring system at the heronry. The goal is for the camera system to be online for the 2022 nesting season. Community members interested in assisting with the Trust’s behavior monitoring efforts in the 2022 season are invited to reach out to Stacy Dahl,, who coordinates the Trust’s community science efforts.

In addition to the March Point Heronry, the Trust stewards multiple properties that support Great Blue Herons throughout their lifecycle, including the Samish Island and Barney Lake Conservation Areas. Conserving a variety of sites will continue to grow in importance as Great Blue Herons adapt to the effects of climate change on their coastal habitat. Skagit Land Trust is grateful for the community support that made this purchase and protection possible.

About Skagit Land Trust: Skagit Land Trust is a local non-profit conservation organization supported by over 1,800 individuals, families and businesses that protects important natural lands for the benefit of the community and for future generations of people and wildlife. Working with communities, landowners, and partners, the Trust has protected more than 8,650 acres of land and 47 miles of marine and freshwater shoreline in Skagit County. For more information about the March Point Conservation Area visit

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