Bellingham Bay

In 2000, as part of the comprehensive plan to clean up sediments and restore habitat in Bellingham Bay, the Georgia Pacific Log Pond was capped with clean sediment, creating 4.0 acres of low intertidal and 1.6 acres of shallow subtidal habitat. The capping process occurred in 2 phases. Phase I involved covering existing sediments with a thick layer of clean sediment. In Phase II, a thinner layer of native silt material from Squalicum was placed over the capping material. The Log Pond Restoration Monitoring Project was designed to assess the recolonization of the new Log Pond Habitat, and compare the benthic diversity of the restoration site with benthic diversity in a near-by reference location in Chuckanut Bay. While capping the sediments in the pond should improve sediment quality, it is important to demonstrate that the sediment cap is controlling accumulation exposures and that the habitat is functioning properly with a healthy, productive benthic community. This is important both for the inherent value of the benthic invertebrate community itself and for its role it plays in the broader Bellingham Bay and regional ecosystems.