Estuarine, intertidal, sand, partly enclosed, eulittoral

This is the most common shoreline habitat mapped in Puget Sound. These sandy beaches have gentle to moderate slopes, and are often bordered on their uppermost portions by a gravelly area. In areas with less wave action, marsh vegetation (e.g. pickleweed) may be present high on the shore. Dune grass may be present high on the shore in more exposed sites.

Habitat attributes

Class ID: 
Class name: 
Estuarine, intertidal, sand, partly enclosed, eulittoral
565.0 km (in WA)
Primary substrate: 
Secondary substrate: 
Tertiary substrate: 
Substrate stability: 
Substrate key details: 
No stable surface features
Wave exposure: 
Semi-protected, Protected
Blue book classes: 
Estuarine intertidal sand: Open
Map/survey site examples: 
Much of inside of Puget Sound (sites without gravel): Dash Point, Seahurst, Seola Beach, …
Fish sampling sites: 
Beach Seine: Birch Bay, West Point, Alki Point, Dumas Bay, Dupont Dock, De Wolf Bight, Thompson Cove, Sandy Bay/Point
Diagnostic species: 
  • Zostera marina
  • Gracilaria pacifica
  • Macoma secta
  • Neotrypaea californiensis
  • Angulus modestus
  • Leptocottus armatus
  • Lepidopsetta bilineata
  • Embiotoca lateralis
  • Cymatogaster aggregata
  • Clinocottus acuticeps
  • Podothecus accipenserinus
  • Syngnathus leptorhynchus
VEC common associates: 
Clinocardium nuttallii
Species notes: