By definition, a lagoon is a water body that is subject to tidal action, which may or may not receive fresh water inflows, and can be natural or artificial. Marina Lagoon falls comfortably within this description. Prior to the dredging and development of Marina Lagoon, the area was probably much like the adjacent Belmont wetlands and O’Neill Slough to the south, and Seal Slough to the north, which provide fine examples of tidal salt marsh and tidal flat habitats. Although the impounding of Seal Slough has greatly altered the slough’s original character, Marina Lagoon remains an important component of baylands habitat.
A healthy lagoon habitat typically supports many of the same species of aquatic invertebrates, fish, and birds that frequent the tidal mudflats and saltmarsh channels. The abundance of waterbirds, shorebirds and the shells along the shore attest to the lagoons ecological vitality. Birds common to the lagoon include avocets, snowy egrets, night herons, gulls, cormorants, coots, and many ducks, to name a few. Bird Island, at the north end of the lagoon, is a designated bird nesting and breeding site. When the water level is lowered for winter operation, a portion of the shallow southern end is exposed, providing an additional attractive food source for birds. Fish that frequent the lagoon include striped bass and sturgeon. The City encourages the community to report fish and wildlife sightings.