Race Lagoon Watershed

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

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Race Lagoon is a relatively intact coastal inlet site and watershed along the east side of Whidbey Island. It is located within the Honeymoon Bay North Drift Cell (Identified as SPU 6011 within Cereghino et al 2012) which also includes important coastal inlet restoration opportunities such as at Greenbank Farms.

The following narrative was developed based on the PSNERP project:

Coastal Inlet Site 238 is one of 5 coastal inlets identified in the Whidbey Sub-basin. This embayment had a historic length of 1663 meters, with 40.9 acres of vegetated wetland, receiving flows from a 6.5 square km watershed. Based on these metrics, it ranks 2 out of 5 in its subbasin, and scores 84 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 P7, a medium group of 35 sites where embayments with average watersheds flow into larger than average embayments and wetlands. Over five generations of coastal inlet development, mapping suggests this embayment may have increased its mapped embayment shoreline length by 95%, and none of current shoreline has evidence of tidal flow degradation. An estimated 14% of the nearshore zone, and 9% of the contributing watershed has impervious surfaces greater than 10%. Based on these metrics, this site ranks 4 out of 5 in its sub-basin, and scores 11 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 D1, a very large and variable group of 162 sites with low potential for lost length, and not particularly high levels of shoreline modification, or development in the nearshore and watershed. Based on this assignment, the site is recommended for a management approach focused on protection of ecosystem processes to prevent degradation of ecosystem services in the future.


  • The increase in shoreline length may be due to limited historical characterization of the backshore habitats during the Coastal Geodetic Survey which informed the PSNERP change analysis.
  • Drainage infrastructure to support agriculture is likely have altered freshwater storage, and nearshore freshwater input processes.
  • Northwest Meadoworks LLC is doing innovative native seed production in wet meadows along the SE branch of the basin.