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884 protected lagoons, embayments, estuaries and inlets were historically mapped in Puget Sound

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Embayments are "protected estuaries and lagoons within which there is too little wave action to form beaches ... Estuaries are those with a significant input of freshwater – for example, from a surface stream, whereas lagoons have limited freshwater input. A large number of the estuaries and lagoons on Puget Sound are formed and enclosed by barrier beaches, emphasizing an important geomorphological relationship between the wave-dominated beach environments and these small protected estuarine environments" (From Shipman 2008). Embayment are often referred to as "pocket estuaries" when referencing their importance for Salmon and for the Non-natal Nearshore Rearing of Salmon. Embayments may contain Wetlands and provide shelter for Migratory Birds.

Cereghino et al 2012 proposes two classes of embayment sites for conservation planning: Coastal Inlets, formed in drowned stream valleys or other post-glacial landforms, and Barrier-type Embayments that are embedded in a Beach system, to some extent dependant on a barrier beach for wave protection and wetland development. In this analysis 260 Coastal Inlets were identified. Simenstad et al 2012 found 518 of Puget Sound's 812 drift cells contain one or more barrier-type embayment. While this may be a useful differentiation, many embayments have attributes of both coastal inlets and barrier-type embayments. Shipman 2008 used for the Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project and McBride et al 2009 proposed slightly different taxonomies to describe variation in Puget Sound coastal embayments. The Puget Sound Tidal Restriction and Wetland Mapping effort has greatly expanded our ability to characterize embayments. It can be difficult to discern where an estuarine feature starts and stops, and boundaries are indistinct (see Cereghino 2014).

Embayment Topics

The following topics are related to embayments:

Restoration Efforts

Other Efforts

Embayment Documents[edit]

The following pages cite documents about embayments: