Cultus Bay

Description, size, location and components of the estuary

Cultus Bay estuary covers 650 acres and is located on the southeastern tip of Whidbey Island.  It consists of freshwater marshes, saltmarshes, wetlands, mudflats and shallow open water.

Source of fresh water
The main freshwater source of water is Cultus Creek.

Click here for enlarged photo              Photo by Kathy Floyd, c. 2004


Alnus rubra, Distichlis spicata, Juncus effuses, Lonicera involucrata, Phalaris arundinacea, Rosa nutkana, Rubus procerus, Salicomia virginica, Sambucus racemosa, Scirpus tabemontanli, Spartina anglica, Triglochin maritimum, and Typha latifolia.

Man made obstructions to the estuary

A large area has been diked off from open tidal exchange. A tidegate and a small culvert allow a minimal exchange of salt water. The shoreline in this area has been extensively altered by the creation of pasture land and the addition of residential communities such as Sandy Hook which is a spit jutting into the bay.

Description of the historic estuary

Historically, this was a large estuary with extensive saltmarsh and tidal channels as well as an existing beach berm.


Island County Estuarine Restoration Program

Prepared by Sheldon & Associates, Inc., June 2001

Puget Sound Creosote Awareness project

More Info

About Estuaries

Whidbey Island Estuaries

Camano Island Estuaries