Located in the southwest corner of Lopez Island, Mackaye Harbor (which includes Barlow Bay) is one of 4 priority nearshore habitat regions in San Juan County due to multiple forage fish spawning sites (surf smelt and Pacific sand lance), year round spawning activity, and eelgrass.
Mackaye Harbor and Barlow Bay are also home to documented Pacific sand lance beaches in San Juan County providing critical habitat for an important salmonid prey species. In 2008, Friends initiated extensive community outreach and scientific research in Mackaye Harbor in order to advance nearshore restoration in this critical region.
This project improved the overall health and productivity of this important nearshore area by removing extensive toxic creosote pilings, and armoring from forage fish spawning habitat. It enhanced water quality and restored documented forage fish spawning habitat for critical marine species including salmon, forage fish, and shellfish.
Project acknowledgements: The Tulalip Tribes, Washington Department of Natural Resources, Coastal Geologic Services, Northwest Concepts.
Funding was provided by: Friends members, the Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board, and the Tulalip Tribes.