Shallow Subtidal Environments

Whalebone Bay is an excellent place to examine the shallow nearshore marine environment, as well as the Pleistocene sequences. Most of the bay is less than 4 m deep and is partially cut off from the north lagoon by a line of small rocks. The shallow margin of the bay is formed by bedrock encrusted by algae and occasional coral (Siderastrea). The northern half of the bay is floored by meadows of the marine grasses Thalassia and Cymodocea. These grasses support a great variety of epibiont, fish and invertibrates. The southern half of the bay is floored by rippled sand, littered with the infaunal bivalve Codakia and coralline algal nodules and dotted with the alga Halimeda.

Tobacco Bay is a small protected bay almost entirely surrounded by Pleistocene bedrock. It demonstrates an open sand bottom which changes dramatically during periods of bad weather. After storms, the bottom is a well rippled open sand plain. After periods of prolonged quiet, the bottom is dotted with the many holes and mounds of infaunal burrowers (primarily the ghost shrimp Calianassa and the worm Arenicola). What ripples are not destroyed by burrowing are covered with an algal mat.