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East bay is a severely modified coastal inlet remaining after the filling of the Indian-Moxlie Creek Inlet, and construction of the Port of Olympia.
Cereghino et al 2012 completed a soundwide analysis to identify and describe coastal inlet sites in Puget Sounds as part of a nearshore ecosystem restoration strategy (using remote sensing data c. 2000-2006). The following narrative was developed to support distribution and use of analysis results:
- Coastal Inlet Site 1, also known as West Bay, is one of 144 coastal inlets identified in the South Sound Sub-basin. This embayment had a historic length of 5461 meters, with 264.9 acres of vegetated wetland, receiving flows from a 10 square km watershed. Based on these metrics, it ranks 11 out of 144 in its subbasin, and scores 93 out of 100 point in terms of size and complexity among all Puget Sound Coastal Inlets. The PSNERP Strategy Analysis assigned this site to group P8, a medium group of 28 sites where very large coastal watersheds flow into large embayments with extensive wetlands.
- Over five generations of coastal inlet development, mapping suggests this embayment appears to have completely lost is historical embayment shoreline, and 100% of current shoreline has evidence of tidal flow degradation. An estimated 91% of the nearshore zone, and 73% of the contributing watershed has impervious surfaces greater than 10%. Based on these metrics, this site ranks 1 out of 144 in its sub-basin, and scores 100 out of 100 points among all Puget Sound coastal inlets, in terms of the intensity and complexity of degradation. The PSNERP Strategy Analysis assigned this site to group D8, a small group of 13 sites with extreme loss of shoreline length and shoreline modification, with variable, but generally high levels of development in the nearshore and watershed. Based on this assignment, the site is recommended for a management approach focused on cautiously and strategically enhancing those ecosystem functions necessary to protect and restore the most valuable ecosystem services..
- The Port of olympia shoreline is largely artificial. The East shore received sediment from a small drift cell from the divergence zone immediately south of Mission Creek. The entire drift cell is armored.
- People for Puget Sound supported some initial analysis of how to enhance the westbay shoreline, possibly using fill to increase the intertidal zone or develop salt marsh.