Port Susan Bay Ecosystem

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Ecosystem site port susan bay.png

Port Susan Bay is a large natural embayment located in the Southern Whidbey Basin. At the head of the bay the Stillaguamish Delta connects the mainland on the east, to Camano Island which forms the western shore. In addition to the strong influence of the delta and the stillaguamish basin, the system has two large coastal inlets, and three large beach sysetms.

  • Video on Port Susan Bay Stewardship Area
  • The Stillaguamish Delta provides a significant freshwater and sediment input currently through the Hat Slough channel, which became the mainstem in recent history (when did this happen?).
  • The Livingston Bay Beach Ecosystem, opposite the Delta contains a convergence zone where SPUs 6049-50 converge at a massive historical closed lagoon marsh at Livingston Bay. Two barrier embayments, Livingston Lagoon, and the Lona Beach Lagoon are located between Barnum Point and the convergence on SPU 6049. This is a very sandy shallow area with extensive historical lagoon marsh.
  • The East Camano Beach Ecosystem flows from the divergence zone at Camano Head culminating at Triangle Cove Ecosystem with its small salmon bearing stream. Four barrier embayments where historically present. One at Cornell Beach, and another in the draw between Tyee and Tillicum beaches have been lost, but the Camano Country Club Lagoon and the Sunny Shore Acres Lagoon remain. A small beach from the Barnum Point divergence zone also deposits sediment at Triangle Cove.
  • Tulalip Beach Ecosystem Along the east shore, flows from Hermosa Point at the Tulalip Bay Ecosytem northward to the delta including three lost embayments at Kayak Point, McKees Beach and Tulare Beach. Tulalip Bay marks the Southern extent or Port Susan Bay, and receives flow from the Mission Creek Watershed and the Tulalip Creek Watershed.

The Bay is ringed by other small streams, none as large as those flowing into Triangle Cove and Tulalip Bay, and with the Stillaguamish river by far the most significant freshwater input.

Notes[edit]

The Bay has extensive mud and sand flat in the north, extensive populations of migrating waterfowl, and is the epicenter of the Spartina anglica invasion after its introduction at the Stillaguamish for cattle forage (SC 20xx)