UPDATE: Ecology's new website will be live on Monday morning! Our official web address will be https://ecology.wa.gov


The Padilla Bay Reserve is nestled just north of the quiet community of Bay View, Washington - 15 minutes west of I-5 in Skagit County. Here in the heart of the Salish Sea is a massive eelgrass meadow, 8000+ acres, and second largest on the Pacific Coast of North America. This is why Padilla Bay is one of 29 sites in the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) established to protect coastal areas for long-term research, monitoring and education, and stewardship.

At the Reserve you may find busloads of school kids learning about the importance of estuaries and exploring the intertidal mud flats. Or you may see research staff collecting data and processing samples in the laboratory. When you enter the Breazeale Interpretive Center, you're invited to browse through the exhibits and observe sea stars, urchins, and other marine life in the aquarium room. Nearby trails and an overlook will give you the opportunity to see eagles, herons, ducks, and other birds that live here year round or pass through on their migratory paths.

Below you can learn more about the Reserve, sign up for classes, and find out how you can get involved.

About Us

image of Padilla Bay's aquariumLocation and hours, recreational opportunities, facility and contact information, and how to get involved


Coastal Training Program

photo of Ecology staff with citizensPractical, science-based training for professionals who make decisions about shoreline management



photo of child on the beachSign up for classes, child activities, group visits, teacher resources and workshops


Maps and GIS

image of person on the beachGIS projects, data, and maps



image of researchers studying eelgrassPromote, conduct and coordinate various research studies and monitoring throughout the bay



image of researcher taking samplesMonitor change, educate people living in the watershed, and balance the uses