Recreational Boating Association of Washington
Purchases Historic Lakebay Marina to Preserve as Marine State Park

The Recreational Boating Association of Washington (RBAW) and its 501(c)(3), the RBAW Marine Parks Conservancy, announced that it has entered into a purchase-and-sale agreement for the historic Lakebay Marina on the Key Peninsula in Pierce County, with the goal of preserving it in perpetuity as a Marine State Park.

The Lakebay Marina, placed on the Pierce County Register of Historic Places in February 2019, has a heritage dating back 135 years. In recent years the marina has faced a variety of regulatory challenges. RBAW feared that the property could be sold for private use and lost to the public forever, so the organization stepped in and began conversations earlier this year about purchasing the property. Fundraising began in earnest in November to raise the $1.25M for the purchase.

To date, $275,000 has been raised, with $250,000 coming from the Pierce County 2020-21 Biennial Budget, thanks to the efforts and leadership of Council Member Derek Young. RBAW intends to raise the remainder of the funds from the boating community and other governmental and recreation-oriented organizations. The Association is working with 26th District lawmakers on a 2020 Supplemental Capital Budget request.

The sale is scheduled to close in September 2020, at which time, pending approval, the RBAW Conservancy would like to donate the property to Washington State Parks and Recreation for a Marine State Park. The RBAW Conservancy also intends to raise additional funds for needed pier and property upgrades.

RBAW is a membership organization funded by more than 10,000 individual boaters and more than 50 supporting boating clubs. It has a history of foresight, planning, and generosity. One of its initial acts as an Association back in the 1950s was to purchase land on Sucia Island in the San Juan’s before a developer could turn the island into vacation properties. RBAW then donated it to the State as a marine park. Today uninhabited Sucia Island is one of the jewels of the State Parks’ system, which is the largest state-managed mooring system in the nation with more than 40 marine parks and more than 8,500 feet of public moorage space.

Bob Wise, RBAW President, emphasized in his news announcement — “we have an opportunity to preserve a facility for generations to come and to create a public asset that will be a major recreational, boating, and tourism draw for the entire South Sound.”

Organizations or individuals interested in learning more about how to donate monies for the purchase of Lakebay Marina should contact Bob Wise at lakebay@rbaw.org