Estuarine, intertidal, sand, channel/slough, eulittoral

This habitat occurs in large marshes and in lagoons which are nearly completely separated from tidal influence by a berm. There is always a source of freshwater and usually horizontal salinity gradients.  Substrata are sand and silt. These and other marsh types provide great amounts of food and habitat for terrestrial and marine organisms as well as exporting large quantities of detritus to estuarine ecosystems. Animals using salt marshes range from deer and elk to voles, owls, insects, and snow geese and a tremendous variety of other birds. Insects are consumed by fish at high tide, and detritus is eaten by amphipods, clams, and worms, which in turn are eaten by larger invertebrates, shorebirds, mammals, and fish. See Albright et al. (1980) for discussion about Washington salt marsh food webs.

Habitat attributes

Class ID: 
Class name: 
Estuarine, intertidal, sand, channel/slough, eulittoral
32.0 km (in WA)
Primary substrate: 
Secondary substrate: 
Tertiary substrate: 
Substrate stability: 
Stabilized by vegetation
Substrate key details: 
Marsh vegetation
Wave exposure: 
Protected, Very protected
Blue book classes: 
Estuarine intertidal mixed-fine: Lagoon, mesohaline and oligohaline
Map/survey site examples: 
Mouth of Morse Creek (Port Angeles)
Fish sampling sites: 
Diagnostic species: 
  • Schoenoplectus
  • Typha
  • Parophrys vetulus
  • Blepsias cirrhosus
  • Leptocottus armatus
  • Anoplarchus purpurescens
  • Embiotoca lateralis
Species notes: