Indian Island Marine Health Observatory

Indian Island Marine Health Observatory (Orcas Island) monitors nearshore and intertidal habitats around Indian Island in Eastsound. Data is collected on the abundance of key indicator species living on and beneath the rocks (starfish, sea anemones, sea slugs, crabs) as well as fish species found in the eelgrass meadows.  Eelgrass shoot-density, the diversity and age class distribution of infaunal bivalve species buried in beach sands, and contaminant concentrations in bivalves are measured annually.  Seabird use of the island is also monitored together with flowering times of native plants.  

Volunteer Bruce Hall

A special field guide to marine life at Indian Island is available at local stores, and community docents provide guidance on the beach for school groups and over 4,000 visitors annually (if you plan to bring a group to the tidelands around Indian Island you can contact us in advance to make sure we can have a docent on hand).

Read our 15th Annual Report: 2023 Indian Island Marine Health Observatory annual report

See also:

Indian Island Field Manual (a socially distanced docent training, 2020)


Indian Island monitoring report 2013 in brief

Visit the website: Indian Island Marine Health Observatory

Oystercatchers with chick

Indian Island seining


Sunflower star Pycnopodia helianthoides

Bay pipefish