The Nature Conservancy in Washington

Breaching the Dike at Port Susan Bay

Project manager Jenny Baker and estuarine ecologist Roger Fuller stand on land that will become tidal marsh now that the sea dike is down at Port Susan Bay.

A backhoe works to bring the dike down to marsh level and open a channel for tidewaters to flow into the marsh.

Port Susan Bay is an important feeding place for shorebirds, and these sandpipers aren’t going to let heavy machinery get in the way of their lunch.

It’s challenging for the construction crew to work in the mud and muck of the bay, but the project is projected to be completed on schedule in mid-October.

Habitat restoration creates jobs for the region. Lead construction contractor is Northwest Construction, Inc., from Bellevue.

Roger Fuller gets his feet wet keeping an eye on progress in the tidal wetlands.

A new emergency floodgate will enable flood waters that overtop upstream dikes to flow off of farmland adjacent to the Port Susan Bay Preserve.

Adjacent farmland is protected by a rebuilt dike on the eastern edge of the Port Susan Bay preserve.

Dike removal completed and construction equipment moved out, the waters of the Stillaguamish River and Port Susan Bay can mingle in the tidal flats.