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Port Susan Bay Preserve

Jan 19, 2013

by Bob and Barb last modified Feb 13, 2013 10:29 PM
Type of Outing
Day hike
Read More in our Hiking Guide
Hike: Port Susan Bay Preserve
Region: Puget Sound and Islands
Agency: The Nature Conservancy of Washington
Snowy Owl
After hiking Four Springs Lake Preserve, we drove to the Port Susan Bay Preserve which is at the end of Boe Road in Stanwood. This preserve is owned by The Nature Conservancy of Washington. There is a sign at the entrance with a phone number to get information and permission to walk the area. (360-419-3140) A gentleman who is a member of the conservancy was just leaving as we arrived , and he gave us permission to walk the dike. 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 which was built in the 1950's to make more farmland. The conservancy then built almost a mile of new dike which goes to the Stillaguamish River which spills into the bay mixing freshwater and saltwater. At the beginning of the walk we saw a snowy owl on a log about 50 yards away. We could see another white head in the far, far, away distance and it was another snowy owl! We must have been in the right place at the right time as when we returned an hour later after walking the dike, we did not see the owls. We saw eagles, harriers, gulls, ducks, a few snow geese flying overhead, a bittern, and the 2 snowy owls. The dike is flat with farmland on one side and mud flats on the other. The tide was low so most of the shorebirds and ducks seen were in the distance.
Harrier
Bittern
Beautiful flood gate at the end of the conservancy property near the Stillaguamish River.
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Information on visiting the Preserve

Posted by Bob and Barb at Feb 13, 2013 10:29 PM
The public is allowed to visit this preserve, but prior arrangements must be made. Anyone interested in visiting should contact Pat Hampton at phampton@tnc.org or 360-419-3140, or Joelene Diehl at jdiehl@tnc.org or 360-419-3125. I talked to Patricia Hampton about what to do to get permission to visit the preserve. Verbal permission like we had wasn't really correct. One must sign a liability waiver which is a one time thing. Once they have this on file you only need to call and tell them when you want to visit and they will put you on their calendar if space i available. The limit is 10 people.

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