Estuarine, intertidal, organic, partly enclosed, eulittoral

This category includes both protected beaches where silt settles and is typically anoxic, and a variety of marsh types, varying with intertidal elevation and salinity. Characteristic vegetation varies with these two key factors. Marsh vegetation can form just at the high water mark on beaches, along the edges of tidal sloughs, or in transitional areas between beaches and uplands and between estuarine and freshwater andenvironments. Substrata are usually organic, either peat for areas transitional between wetland and upland, or muck for areas transitional between freshwater and estuarine. Other substrata in these areas are sand (along stream channels) and clay.

Habitat attributes

Class ID: 
Class name: 
Estuarine, intertidal, organic, partly enclosed, eulittoral
69.0 km (in WA)
Primary substrate: 
Secondary substrate: 
Tertiary substrate: 
Substrate stability: 
Stabilized by vegetation
Substrate key details: 
No stable surface features
Wave exposure: 
Protected, Very protected
Blue book classes: 
Estuarine intertidal mixed-fine and mud: Partly enclosed - Marsh [Nooksack, Skagit, other river mouths]
Map/survey site examples: 
Mouth of Nisqually and Skagit Rivers
Fish sampling sites: 
Skagit River delta
Diagnostic species: 
  • Carex lyngbyei
  • Distichlis spicata
  • Salicornia depressa
  • Triglochin maritima
  • Jaumea carnosa
  • Schoenoplectus maritimus
  • Cymatogaster aggregata
  • Leptocottus armatus
  • Parophrys vetulus
  • Platichthys stellatus
  • Cottus asper
  • Mylocheilus caurinus
Species notes: