Orcas Island Vacation Rentals


The Deer Harbor Estuary


"Gratitude is the memory of the heart." 

Jean Baptiste Massieu

 San Juan Islands Vacation Rentals


Vibrant Deer Harbor Lagoon and Estuary


Estuaries are critical for the survival of many species. 

Tens of thousands of birds, mammals, fish, and other wildlife depend on 

estuarine habitats as places to live, feed, and reproduce. Estuaries provide 

ideal spots for migratory birds to rest and refuel during their journeys. 

And many species of fish and shellfish rely on the sheltered waters of estuaries 

as protected places to spawn, giving them the nickname "nurseries of the sea." 

Hundreds of marine organisms, including most commercially valuable 

fish species, depend on estuaries at some point during their development .



  Read our Newsletters on our restoration efforts. Newsletter One and Newletter Two  

The Deer Harbor Lagoon Estuary qualified as Priority Habit

under Washington Department of Wildlife criteria as Reported by 

Terry Domico  in the Puget Sound BioSurvey site assessment.

Criteria: High Wildlife density, high wildlife diversity, important breeding  habitat,

 important feeding habitat, important wildlife seasonal range, important

wildlife movement corridors, high vulnerability to habitat alteration.

  Read our Estuary Report    Deer Harbor Report   Appendix   One   Two   and   Three  

Streams are the source of life for a myriad of wild creatures.

The two streams entering the head of the Deer Harbor Lagoon

were once more vibrant than today. There once were native salmon species

using Fish Trap Creek, named in historical letters as the largest 

stream on Orcas Island. Projects are underway and under plan  

both by Government agencies and private citizens and groups

 to restore this stream to a more ecological state. 


The estuary lagoon serves as an important nursery for fish crabs and shrimp.

At the turn of the tide, as the lagoon begins to fill again, many thousands

of young fish enter the estuary with the inflow of water feeding a local population 

Great Blue Herons and Osprey.




Questions about the estuary or the S J C Land Bank?

Contact the Connors

 Click Here to Email the Connors                   Telephone 360-376-2480




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