False Bay is a unique intertidal habitat on San Juan Island.  The bay, which covers more than a square kilometer, has an extremely shallow bottom of sand and mud.  It has earned its name because the bay is empty of water during most low tides, exposing a vast area of sand bars, mud flats, tidal channels and tide pools, as well as isolated boulders and patches of rocky shoreline.  Given the deceptive shallowness of the bay, boats are not uncommonly stranded by a receding tide.  The size of the bay and the extreme physical variation it experiences on a daily basis result in a variety of communities that are each adapted to local conditions within the bay, and are distinct from communities found in many other intertidal habitats.
The goal of these pages is to characterize several of the distinct habitats of False Bay.  We hope our discoveries will help you to investigate the tremendous physical and biological variety of the bay, and provide the tools necessary to see what is underfoot when you take one of the long walks that makes False Bay an attractive destination for biologists and scenery lovers alike.



Click on the map to visit a False Bay habitat (or choose one of the following links):
1) Sandbar Area
2) Mud Shrimp Area 
3) Ulva Area
4) Lugworm Area

For an overview of taxonomic diversity among the areas, go here.

Wondering what organisms you might see at False Bay?  Check out the species page.

Go here for more information about the physical environment of False Bay.

Click here for information about feeding, locomotion, protection, and reproduction in False Bay.

To read about the techniques we used for exploring the bay, go to the methods page.

Conclusions that we came to after our brief study of False Bay can be found here.

If you are looking for some suggestions for exploring the bay, go to the lesson plan page.

Click here to visit other habitat pages of San Juan Island: Argyle Creek, Cattle Point, Dock Floats, Plankton.

And finally, go here to meet us!