Dungeness Spit is the longest natural sand spit in the United States. Extending 5 miles into the Strait of Juan De Fuca, Dungeness Spit has grown about 15 feet per year for the past 120 years.
Complex winds, waves, and eroding bluffs build Dungeness Spit. Wind and waves bring sandy sediments from the west. Strong northeast winds during summer and winter storms also shape the spit. These winds reverse shore drift and have formed a hook called Graveyard Spit.
Shelter inside the Spit
Tideflats nourish clams, crabs, oysters and other shellfish. Shorebirds such as turnstones, phalaropes, and sandpipers search for food along the water's edge. Eelgrass beds provide food and shelter for young salmon and steelhead. Migrating Black Brant also feed on the eelgrass.
Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge
In 1915, a 756 acre refuge was established as a resting and wintering place for Black Brant and other birds. Over 250 species of birds have been noted here over the years. About 91 species nest in the refuge area, including: Common Merganser, Cooper's Hawk, Northern Pygmy-Owl, Vaux's Swift, Rufous hummingbird, and Willow Flycatcher.
Impacts on the Spit
Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge. Refuge information, map, birds, and wildlife.
Dungeness Spit: the Longest Natural Spit in America, Travel In Washington. Travel guide and description of Dungeness spit.
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