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Field Notes

Covering the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest

December 19, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Now open: Port Susan Bay

The Nature Conservancy of Washington has just completed a tidal marsh restoration that reconnects 4,000 acres of tidelands at the northern end of Port Susan Bay in Snohomish County to Puget Sound.

The project included taking out 1.3 miles of a sea dike built in the 1950s to create more farmland. The conservancy built almost a mile of new dike roughly following the original shore to protect farmland.

But restoring the reach of salt water to the land will revive a tidal estuary environment that once supported shorebirds, salmon and other species. Two projects comprising the restoration cost more than $4 million, funded by a suite of partners, including many state and federal agencies and the Tulalip Tribes.

portsusan_mh199949.JPG

Port Susan Bay has become and even more important habitat for seabirds and salmon, with the completion of a restoration that reconnects tidal wetlands in the area to Puget Sound.

Photo by Mark Harrison, Seattle Times Staff photographer

The area is a longtime favorite for bird watchers. This photo from the Nature Conservancy of Washington shows why:

PSBsnowgeese.jpg

Photo by Marlin Greene/OneEarthImages.com

Snow geese flock at The Nature Conservancy’s Port Susan Bay Preserve after completion of a restoration project that removed 1.5 miles of sea dike and opened a diked area to tidal processes.

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