Neck Point Wetland Restoration (Shaw)

Two-acre wetland reconnected to marine waters through channel restoration and removal of fill (2008).


Every morning the wetland looks different with more birds and wildlife than one would normally see. Since the wetland’s connection to the marine environment was restored, we also see small fish that were not there before. The wetland is truly one of Mother Earth’s great artistic manifestations.

–Nancy and Tyler Gazecki, Shaw Island

Friends of the San Juans removed a 55-cubic-yard berm that blocked flushing of the Neck Point coastal marsh on Shaw Island. With the assistance of partners and neighbors the tidal channels were restored to reestablish natural rates of tidal exchange, drainage, and access for fish and invertebrates and vegetation was replanted to enhance habitat for insects.

In a natural state tidal channels flood a salt marsh bringing in fish and crustaceans during high tides and flush the marsh during low tides. Coastal salt marshes are important for juvenile salmon because they are a source of insect prey. Before the berm was removed and the marsh reconnected, the Neck Point salt marsh only received marine waters at maximum tides and there were areas of stagnant freshwater.  Since restoration fish have been observed using the marsh channels.

Project acknowledgements: The Neck Point Homeowners Association, Echeverria Fisheries, San Juan Islands Conservation District, Friday Harbor Marine Labs, Coastal Geologic Services,  and Shaw Community members.

Funding was provided by Friends members and the Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board.