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Supporting a resilient and thriving community — environmentally + economically + socially

Beach Monitoring

The Bainbridge Beach Naturalists partner with island organizations to assist with beach monitoring for a variety of purposes. Beach monitoring provides a baseline profile of the elevation, substrate and beach composition, as well as the presence and density of species on the beach. The beach monitoring is conducted on an annual basis, and over time it is possible to observe changes in the nearshore environment.

Bainbridge Beach Naturalists work with the Bainbridge Island Land Trust on a property on which extensive shoreline reparation has been accomplished.  We have worked with the city of Bainbridge Island to create a baseline of eelgrass density in an area which is now subject to beach stabilization measures.

You may have read about the stormwater study in the Puget Sound involving the use of mussels to help determine the toxics brought into the waters by run-off from impervious surfaces such as roof tops, parking lots and roads.  The Bainbridge Beach Naturalists and members of the Bainbridge Island Watershed Council are participating in this study by deploying the mussel cages, keeping an eye on them for the three months they are in our waters, and then retrieving the cages and getting the mussels to a lab in Olympia for analysis.

We collaborate with Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife on a mussel study which initially provided three cages of mussels that were placed around Bainbridge Island and monitored during their deployment. In January, 2013, the mussels were retrieved and were analyzed for toxic chemicals they ingested during their stay in our waters.  In 2015-16, we were responsible for a total of seven sites on Bainbridge Island.

With the arrival of the seastar wasting syndrome, beach naturalists have been monitoring selected sites to document the devastation of all of the species of seastars locally, and to watch for possible recovery.

The newest monitoring in which the Bainbridge Beach Naturalists are participating is the green crab monitoring project, where we have a site at Blakely Harbor that is being monitored for this invasive species, as well as collecting baseline data on the crab and fish species in the innermost part of the harbor.