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
Designated
Designated in 2010 and boundary change in 2017
Size
3050 acres of state-owned aquatic land
Significant species
Pacific herring, salmon, surf smelt, orca, and surf scoter
Important habitats
Eelgrass, bull kelp, mixed macroalgae beds
Management Plan
Commissioner's Order
Map
 
Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve - Aquatic Reserves Program data viewer
Click here or on the image above to launch the Aquatic Reserves Program Data Viewer.

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 more information on the committee and how to get involved visit aquaticreserves.org.

Citizen Science Reports

Science and Monitoring 

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. 
 
  Implementation Committee Meeting Summaries and Presentations
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, 2014
 
July 17, 2013
 
January 29, 2013
 
October 23, 2012
 
June 12, 2012