Salmon
Surf Smelt
Sand Lance
Kelp
Eelgrass
Native Plants
Madrone
Maple
Bald Eagle
Scoter
Shorebird
Heron
Guillemot
Geoduck
Harbor Seal

Nearshore Food Web

  • The Food Web Depends on Detritus

    Decaying salt marsh plants and eelgrass are vital to the food web. At the end of the growing season, bits of dead plants and animals combine with a rich array of microorganisms to form "detritus." Small invertebrates such as worms and snails feed on detritus and are in turn eaten by fish, birds, and amphibians.  
     

  • Many Species Also Feed on Live Plants

    Many species feed directly on eelgrass or salt marsh vegetation. Many of these species are in turn preyed upon by other creatures. The Townsend's vole, for example, feeds on salt marsh plants such as Lyngby's sedge. The Marsh hawk, the short-eared owl, and the great blue heron then hunt the vole.

    Related Topics

    Eelgrass, Underwater forests shelter marine life.

    Related Links

    All About Eelgrass, Port Townsend Marine Science Center. What's so essential about eelgrass? Read all about it.   

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