Bays are wide inward-curving inlets where the ocean meets the land. Ecologically, these areas are very important because they offer a near-ocean environment which is still sheltered from the harsh conditions of the open sea. If you think of estuaries as being the nurseries of the ocean, then bays are the school playgrounds. This is where older aquatic animals begin to venture seaward, leaving the relative safety of the estuaries and encountering both new species and conditions. It’s also the place where the ocean food chain really begins to take shape, with larger species feeding on smaller ones as happens in the open sea on a truly grand scale.

  • Field Experiences: Uncovering Bayocean

    Category: Exploring Nature Item

    Third graders from South Prairie Elementary School attempt to solve a mystery in their own backyard — what happened to the town of Bayocean?

  • Upwelling In Bays

    Category: Fun Fact

  • A Fisherman’s Delight

    Category: Fun Fact

  • How Bays Helped Build Civilization

    Category: General Article

    In order to truly appreciate how important bays have been to civilization, you need to look far back into human history.

  • The Town Swallowed By The Sea

    Category: Landmark Place

    Ever heard of Bayocean, Oregon? No? You're not alone since this resort community, founded in the early twentieth century, has been completely reclaimed by the sea. Read the amazing true story of an ill-fated dream.

  • Boiler Bay State Scenic Viewpoint

    Category: General Article

    Known for a spectacular shipwreck and as a great place to spot migrating whale, Boiler Bay is a small state park but definitely worth the visit.

Slideshow: Bays

  • Ssbay1

    A bay at low-tide reveals the thick and fertile mud on which so much marine life is dependent.

  • Ssbay2

    Shrouded in thick morning fog, this Oregon bay is the picture of tranquility.

  • Ssbay3

    Bays are important to both animals and people. They are often popular areas for boating, fishing and crabbing.