Port Susan Bay is one of the Conservancy’s most exciting preserves in Washington. Here, we are restoring the estuarine habitat that juvenile salmon need to thrive. Estuaries are in decline, largely because they’ve some of the most heavily populated areas. For example, For New York City, where our LEAF interns live, is located on the Hudson River estuary.
To restore Port Susan Bay, the Conservancy is preparing to remove a dike that was built years ago to create farmland. Once the dike is gone, nature will take care of the rest. Water and sediment will flow into the preserve and create more habitat for salmon and other creatures.
This year has been all about gathering baseline data for our Port Susan Bay project, so that scientists will have a reference point for tracking changes once the dike is gone. Tiana, Tiffany and Khadijah are helping. Here are their dispatches from Port Susan Bay:
Today the team went back to Port Susan Bay for some vegetation monitoring. We split into two groups. Erin, Khadijah and I were in one group, and Tiffany and Joelene were in another. Both groups found spartina (an invasive weed). We had to rush back to the cars because of the incoming tides.. We also made a quick trip to the supermarket for some more groceries. —Tiana Cruz
On this day we lopped the blackberries at Port Susan Bay. Conservancy intern Terrance and Conservancy staff member Robin came to Port Susan Bay on that day to work with us. It was a great day because we had some dancing and Terrance showed us his moves.
Later that day we went to Livingston Bay to do photo monitoring with Kit. It was a great day until Terrance and Robin had to leave. —Tiffany Smith
On this day we went to Port Susan Bay to do photo monitoring with Kit, but unfortunately while driving on the dike our car got stuck. It took us a couple of hours to get the vehicle out with the help of Kit, Barbara and Rosa.
After getting out we went to Snow Goose to have lunch and had ice cream cones the size of our heads. After eating ice cream we went to tour a local farm, but the tour was very short because our energy level was extremely low. Then we went to see the Swimomish Tribe, which was very interesting.
On our way home we stop at a church BBQ and spoke to some amazing people that saw us in the newspaper. — Khadijah Michael
New York residents Tiffany Smith, Tiana Cruz and Khadijah Michael are spending three weeks in Washington as part of The Nature Conservancy’s LEAF program, which provides paid internships to high school youth. You can read about their adventures in this daily updated blog.