Birch Bay, Washington

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Birch Bay is a census-designated place (CDP) in Whatcom County, Washington, United States. Birch Bay is a protected bay located between Semiahmoo Bay and Lummi Bay. It is also commonly referred to as the community near and around this body of water, but is actually not its own town. Birch Bay is approximately 100 miles north of Seattle, WA and 50 miles south of Vancouver, BC, Canada. The population was 4,961 at the 2000 census.

Birch Bay was named in 1792 by Archibald Menzies, a member of the Vancouver Expedition. Vancouver's two ships used Birch Bay as an anchorage for several days. Menzies noted a number of species of birch and gave the name to the bay.[3]

Contents

Geography

Birch Bay is located at 48°55′56″N 122°44′50″W / 48.93222°N 122.74722°W / 48.93222; -122.74722 (48.932167, -122.747192).[4]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 21.2 square miles (55.0 km²), of which, 15.8 square miles (40.9 km²) of it is land and 5.4 square miles (14.0 km²) of it (25.45%) is water.

Geology

Birch Bay is a headland bay created by the refraction of incoming waves on the headlands that lie on either side of the bay. The headland to the north is Birch Point, and the one to the south is Point Whitehorn. The waves bend as they enter the bay and lose energy in the process. The result is a half-moon-shaped bay with a gentle sloping beach. The beach has been modified in past years by the implementation of groins and riprap. Terrell Creek runs parallel along a section of the beach, eventually flowing into the bay.

Demographics

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 4,961 people, 2,125 households, and 1,417 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 313.7 people per square mile (121.2/km²). There were 5,105 housing units at an average density of 322.8/sq mi (124.7/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 92.36% White, 1.23% Asian, 1.19% Native American, 1.05% African American, 0.14% Pacific Islander, 1.91% from other races, and 2.12% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.45% of the population.

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