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 in 2007
|6065 acres of state-owned aquatic lands
|Lingcod, salmon, rockfish, minke whales, bald eagles
|Rocky reefs, bull kelp, eelgrass, protected embayments
|Management Plan (2007)
|Commissioner's Order (2007)
Click here or on the image above to launch the Aquatic Reserves Program Data Viewer.
Species and Habitats
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
Explore science and monitoring projects conducted on the Cypress Island 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.