Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve Fact Sheet


The National Parks and Recreation Act of 1978 (Public Law 95-625, Section 508(a) (92 Stat. 3507) established Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve in order to preserve and protect a rural community, which provides an unbroken historical record from nineteenth century exploration and settlement in Puget Sound to the present time, and commemorates four specific historical events: the first thorough exploration of the Puget Sound area by Captain George Vancouver in 1792; settlement by Colonel Isaac Neff Ebey, who led the first permanent Euro-American settlers to Whidbey Island; settlement during the years of the Oregon Territory's Donation Land Claim Act (1850-1855) and thereafter; and the growth since 1883 of the historic town of Coupeville.

In the 1970s, local support for protecting these lands and resources gained momentum in response to development pressures, and this lead to the establishment of the reserve. The reserve concept of collaborative management is accomplished with a Trust Board representing four government partners: Island County, the Town of Coupeville, Washington State Parks, and the National Park Service (NPS).


The purpose of the reserve is to implement the National Parks and Recreation Act of 1978 (Public Law 95-625, Section 508(a) (92 Stat. 3507), and preserve, protect, and interpret the reserve's nationally significant historic, natural, cultural, scenic, and recreational resources.


The reserve is an intact, large area cultural landscape, in which maritime prairies, forests, shorelines, farmland and architecture preserve the characteristics of mid-to-late 19th century development and maritime commerce. These features include territorial era architecture and the still-evident land claims filed by westward-migrating settlers under the Oregon Territory's Donation Land Claim Act (1850-1855).

Non-fee approaches to preservation (scenic easements) are the primarily means of protecting land in the reserve. Approximately 85% of the land within the reserve is privately owned, with the rest a combination of local, state, and federal ownership. Lands ownd by the NPS include key scenic areas suited to interpretation and public access, and historic structures associated with the enabling legislation's purpose. These include mid-19th century historic structures, later era historic agricultural buildings, and farmland that is leased and in use. some NPS owned historic structures are used to support the Trust Board and NPS operations in the reserve.

Scenic viewsheds and soundscapes are components of the reserve's cultural landscape. The pastoral setting and views of open prairies, forests, farmsteads, donation land claims, Puget Sound, and surrounding mountain ranges are largely unchanged since original settlement of the area. Increasing visitation, especially by day-trip visitors from nearby urban areas, reflects growing awareness and appreciation of the reserve's accessible beaches and trails for outdoor recreation.


Size: 17,572 acres (413 federal fee; 2,023 federal scenic easement).
Staffing: 1.6 FTE NPS; 3 FTE Trust Board - Non-Federal
Annual Visitation: 1,000,000 (estimate)
Budget: $349,000
Deferred Maintenance: $5,077,511
Economic Benefits to the Community: $21,300,000 (1995 dollars)


Washington State Parks, Island County, Town of Coupeville, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Whidbey Island Conservation District, Whidbey Camano Land Trust, Friends of Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve, The Nature Conservancy, Washington State Department of Transporation, .


Senators: Patty Murray (D-WA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA)\
Representative: Rick Larsen (D-WA)


Trust Board of Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve:
Marie Shimada, Reserve Manager. (360) 678-6084, marie_shimada@partner.nps.gov.

NPS Acting Superintendent
Anne Matsov, (360) 678-4645, anne_matsov@nps.gov.

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Last updated: March 17, 2022

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Mailing Address:

PO Box 774
Coupeville, WA 98239


360 678-6084

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