Five Critical Areas of Conservation


Protecting Washington's Wetlands

Washington's wetlands protect water quality, reduce flooding, provide aquifer recharge for drinking water and other uses, and provide critical habitat for fish and wildlife. VSP county projects work in partnership to protect, restore, and manage wetlands and their important functions through conservation and restoration projects.

Wetlands perform many ecological functions. Knowledge and understanding about the complexities wetland ecosystems represent is still developing.

Wetland ecologists have already documented the following environmental benefits wetlands provide:

  • Water purification
  • Flood protection
  • Shoreline stabilization
  • Groundwater recharge and stream flow maintenance

Wetlands also provide habitat for fish and wildlife, including endangered species. Not all wetlands provide all of these benefits, and how your particular wetland works depends on its location and type.

Learn more about critical area definitions.


Pacific CD Protects Riparian Habitat through Fencing Project

Wildlife Habitat

Pacific Conservation District (PCD) recently worked with a landowner who completed an exclusion fence for their cattle operation.

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Foster Creek CD Projects Focus on Stream Restoration and Innovative Virtual Fencing

Geologically Hazardous

Two Foster Creek CD (FCCD) projects showcase an ecosystem approach to improving natural resources, protecting geologically hazardous landscapes, improving habitat health, and ensuring agricultural viability within the Foster Watershed.

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Okanogan CD Assists with Installation of Livestock Exclusion Fencing


Okanogan Conservation District (OCD) utilized VSP funding to work with a landowner to install livestock exclusion fencing, protecting riparian and wetland habitats from grazing sheep.

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Removing Yakima River Water Stargrass


Benton Conservation District (BCD) is leading the community effort to deal with water stargrass.

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