Sites -> Cape Disappointment State Park -> Place -> Estuary -> Plants and Animals

Plants and Animals

Estuaries support incredible biodiversity, and the Columbia, the biggest estuary on the west coast of the U.S., is no exception, with its great richness of plant and animal species.

Over 175 species of birds use the lower Columbia River estuary. Low marshland and many islands form a unique habitat for nesting birds.

Many species of salmon adapt here from fresh to salt water, and eventually transition back from ocean to river. The lower Columbia’s tidal wetlands are extremely important for young salmon seeking food and cover prior to entering the ocean. Twelve species of salmon and steelhead for which the lower Columbia River estuary is key habitat are listed as threatened or endangered.

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