Nooksack Delta

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The full historical extent of the Nooksack Delta includes both the river mouth into Bellingham Bay, and the Red River or Indian River distributary to the west of the Lummi Reservation Uplands. This west distributary is no relatively disconnected from the river except at flood flow, and a large area of the tidal flats have been converted into the Lummi Fish Pond. Compared to other large river estuaries to the South, the Nooksack is relatively intact. Upstream, the mainstem Nooksack River divides into the North Fork Nooksack Floodplain and the South Fork Nooksack near the Town of Deming and the reservation of the Nooksack Tribe A large portion of the estuary is in the reservation of the Lummi Nation. Large scale restoration of the delta was considered by the PSNERP study, and would. The Lummi is actively involved in restoration and mitigation banking in tidal wetlands on the Lummi River distributary.


Nearshore Strategies Data Report

Cereghino et al 2012 completed a soundwide analysis to identify and describe river delta sites in Puget Sounds as part of a nearshore ecosystem restoration strategy (using remote sensing data c. 2000-2006). The following narrative of this delta site was developed to support distribution and use of analysis results:

The Nooksack Delta in the San Juan Sub-basin historically contained 4,720 acres of vegetated wetland along a 41 km shoreline. The delta receives flow from a 203,524 square kilometer watershed. These characteristics make this system the 4th largest delta out of 16 systems in Puget Sound.
Simenstad et al 2011 found that this system had lost 71% of its vegetated tidal wetlands, and 47% of its shoreline length. Of the remaining shoreline, 42% shows some evidence of infrastructure development. In the surrounding uplands, 19% of land is estimated to have greater than 10% impervious surface. Across the watershed, 25% of land is estimated to have greater than 10% impervious surface. Based on these paramters, the site was given a degradation score of 36 out of 100, making it the 10th most degraded delta in Puget Sound. It faces a medium risk of future development locally, and a high risk of development across the watershed. None of the watershed is currently impounded behind dams.

Nooksack and River Delta Products

The following Product pages are categorized with the categories Nooksack and River Delta.