One of the most important biological features of Portage Inlet is the large eelgrass meadows. Eelgrass provides valuable habitat for fish (including juvenile salmon) and marine invertebrates, and feeding grounds for birds. Together, the waters of Gorge and Portage Inlet support 80% of the total eelgrass in the CRD harbours. The eelgrass meadows in Portage Inlet cover approximately 50 hectares.
Olympia oysters provide an important structural component to the shallow subtidal area of Portage Inlet. These oysters tend to occur in clusters, providing a substrate for a variety of other animals and plants to attach to. Empty oyster shells also provide valuable habitat for other creatures.
Intertidal mudflats and salt marshes in Portage Inlet support rich ecosystems where marine invertebrates such as clams, snails, worms and crustaceans find refuge. These organisms in turn provide an important food source for birds and other wildlife.
© Image courtesy of L. Townsend