Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve

Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve

About the Aquatic Reserve

The Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve is a unique aquatic ecosystem located in the Strait of Georgia on the western shores of Whatcom County, Washington. Designated in 2010, the reserve protects unique habitat that supports marine and intertidal species that are crucial to the health of the Salish Sea.

Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve At-A-Glance

Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve - Aquatic Reserves Program data viewer
Click here or on the image above to launch the Aquatic Reserves Program Data Viewer.
A Look at Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve

Species and Habitats

Point WhitehornPacific herring eggs on SargassumBonaparte gulls at Cherry Point
Cherry Point was once one of the most productive Pacific herring spawning areas in the Pacific Northwest. A critical link in the marine food web, herring belong to a group of fish known as “forage fish” because so many predators depend upon them for food. Pacific herring feed on plankton and in turn are devoured by larger fish, birds and marine mammals. 
The shorelines of Cherry Point are constantly in motion. Naturally-eroding bluffs feed new sediment to beaches. Intense waves and winds shift sediment around the base of the bluffs and along the beach. Trees and overhanging plants provide nutrients and safe haven to aquatic species. These beaches also support spawning surf smelt, a small fish that provides important forage for salmon and wintering seabirds.

Citizen Science and Stewardship

A Citizen Stewardship Committee organizes volunteer surveys of intertidal species and marine birds at Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve. The committee also works to educate others about nearshore ecology, the Aquatic Reserve's condition, and planning issues that affect the reserve. For volunteer opportunities and more information on how to get involved visit the Cherry Point committee.

Citizen Science Reports

Science and Monitoring 

Explore science and monitoring projects conducted on the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve in the Aquatic Reserves StoryMap Collection. In addition, the Aquatic Reserves Program Data Viewer is an interactive map with monitoring data collected by the Aquatic Reserves Program and Citizen Stewardship Committees. Click here to view the interactive map.

Reports and Links

Implementation Committee

The Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve Implementation Committee is a stakeholder advisory group that provides guidance on management priorities and helps implement management actions. 
Management Plan 2023 Update Documents (revised March 2023)

Implementation Committee Meeting Summaries and Presentations

November 17, 2020
June 18, 2020
February 13, 2020
November 7, 2019
June 13, 2019
November 8, 2018
Larval Crab Monitoring (Evelyn Brown)
June 12, 2018
November 17, 2017
DNR Aquatic Land Management Update (Dennis Clark & Joelene Boyd) 
June 21, 2017
DNR Aquatic Land Management Update (Dennis Clark & Joelene Boyd)
November 17, 2016
April 27, 2016
October 12, 2015
March 3, 2015
April 16, 2015
March 3, 2015
April 16, 2014
July 17, 2013
January 29, 2013
October 23, 2012
June 12, 2012