Cypress Island Aquatic Reserve
   

 Cypress Island Aquatic Reserve

About the Aquatic Reserve

Cypress Island is the largest, relatively undeveloped island in the San Juan Islands and is a unique example of coordinated terrestrial and aquatic habitat management. In 2007, 6065 acres of state-owned aquatic lands surrounding the island were designated as Cypress Island Aquatic Reserve, complementing the existing Cypress Island Natural Resources Conservation Area (5100 acres) and the Cypress Island Highlands Natural Area Preserve (1100 acres).  
 
The Cypress Island Comprehensive Management Plan provides guidance for the Natural Resources Conservation Area, Natural Area Preserve and the Aquatic Reserve.
 
  Cypress Island Aquatic Reserve At-A-Glance
Designated
Designated in 2007
Size
6065 acres of state-owned aquatic lands
Significant species
Lingcod, salmon, rockfish, minke whales, bald eagles
Important habitats
Rocky reefs, bull kelp, eelgrass, protected embayments
Managment Plan
Management Plan (2007)
Commissioner's Order
Commissioner's Order (2007)
Map
 
Cypress Island Aquatic Reserve map
Click here or on the image above to launch the Aquatic Reserves Program Data Viewer. 

Species and Habitats

Kayakers at Cypress IslandSeagrass surveys at Strawberry BayBull kelp bed at Cypress Island
 
Largely undeveloped, Cypress Island has nearly 20 miles of natural shoreline. Juvenile Chinook salmon, coho salmon and chum salmon shelter and forage in the island’s pocket beaches and protected embayments. The strong currents, steep subtidal slopes and shallow rocky reefs around Cypress Island provide diverse and rich habitat for species like rockfish, lingcod and kelp greenling. You may see minke whales or harbor porpoises making their way through Rosario Strait on the west of the island. Bull kelp beds ringing the island provide shelter for crabs and sea stars and foraging areas for loons, scoters and grebes.   

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