Great News for Salmon! Elger Bay Preserve Expanded

Author: Whidbey Camano Land Trust | 10/13/20
       

Elger Bay Estuary

Elger Bay Estuary Preserve on Camano Island recently increased in size from 38 to 58 acres. Photo by Washington Department of Ecology.

Newly expanded to 58 acres, the Land Trust’s Elger Bay Estuary Preserve on Camano Island is the site of one of the few remaining intact pocket estuaries in Island County.  Pocket estuaries are places sheltered from wind and waves where freshwater and saltwater mix, and many aquatic species depend.

Estuaries are one of the most productive environments on earth, often called “nurseries of the sea,” because they provide feeding, nesting, breeding, and refuge for numerous species of fish, and other marine animals. In particular, Elger Bay is important for young, wild salmon, including endangered Chinook, when they leave their natal rivers and enter Puget Sound early in the year. It is also used by numerous migratory birds and other wildlife.

About 80 percent of the Whidbey Basin’s pocket estuaries have been lost. That’s why it’s so important for us to protect intact pocket estuaries, like Elger Bay, and to restore converted pocket estuaries, like we did at Dugualla Bay on North Whidbey.

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