Orcas on the move. Photo: Florian Graner

What can you do to help the orcas?

News of our struggling resident orcas is all over the news, but what can you do to help? Snohomish MRC created a useful guide with tips ranging from small steps to take in your household to engagement opportunities throughout the Salish Sea.

Eight things you can do to help:

  1. Develop an appreciation for the Salish Sea and beyond. Download the MyCoast app and exercise those citizen science skills.
  2. Switch to natural cleaners. Make your own cleaners that won’t harm the marine environment. Check out recipes here .
  3. Reduce your use of plastic. Plastic waste infiltrates the food system and impacts the entire food web. Help by reducing your use.
  4. Help reduce stormwater pollution. Water quality is essential for the health of local sealife. Learn how you can keep the Salish Sea clean.
  5. Eat sustainable seafood. Make strategic food choices. This guide from Monterey bay Aquarium is a great place to start.
  6. Learn to be Whale Wise. When you are out on the Sound, keep an eye out for the Whale Wise flags.
  7. Support funding for salmon habitat restoration. Reach out to key community members to talk to them about your concerns.
  8. Get involved in local restoration work. Volunteer your time and expertise with local organizations.

You can share this information from the Snohomish MRC’s website or download the printable version.

The Northwest Straits Commission is a regional coordinating body comprised of people who care about the marine areas where they live, and who work together to protect and restore marine resources.

The Northwest Straits Commission carries out regional conservation projects and supports the work of seven Marine Resources Committees through funding, technical support, training and regional coordination.

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More About Us and the Northwest Straits Region »

May Commission Meeting

May 31


  • Puget Sound Kelp Conservation and Recovery Workshop

    Northwest Straits Initiative

    Kelp enthusiasts from around the Salish Sea gathered at Padilla Bay on February 28 to talk all things kelp. The workshop is part of an effort being led by the Northwest Straits Initiative and funded by NOAA to develop a Puget Sound Kelp Conservation and Recovery Plan. Forty-seven people representing marine resources committees, tribes, universities, non-governmental organizations, federal and state agencies, and county government shared their perspectives on kelp.

    In focused working groups the participants developed a prioritized set of actions needed to better understand kelp in Puget Sound to provide best available science for managers and policy makers and to protect our favorite brown macroalgae! Learn more about our kelp program.

  • 2019 Northwest Straits Initiative Retreat

    Northwest Straits Initiative

    The NWS Initiative team held a fantastic retreat on Camano Island this month. Elsa Schwartz, Island MRC representative on the NWS Commission, generously hosted the event at her home. The agenda was designed to celebrate accomplishments and further collaborate on protecting the Northwest Straits.

    Over two days, participants discussed opportunities and priorities for the coming year and beyond. Among the priorities were a focus on nearshore and marine habitat protection and restoration, and messaging the Initiative’s work to new audiences. Participants left the retreat feeling inspired to take action toward our shared mission.

  • 2018 Annual Report

    Northwest Straits Initiative

    Click here to read the full report.

Member Spotlight: Patti Gobin

San Juan MRC

Patti Gobin has over 25 years of Community Development experience with the Tulalip Tribes. Presently, Ms. Gobin is with the Natural Resource Treaty Rights office working with state, local and federal agencies regarding those issues that impact the life ways of the Tulalip Tribes. In addition to her years of experience, Ms. Gobin is a member of the Tulalip Tribes and is well versed in the culture and history of her people. Her personal goal is to invest in the future of the Coast Salish community, helping to affect a sustainable future for the next generations to come.

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Upcoming Events

  • Apr


    Talking Trash Garbology Workshop

    April 25
    2:00 PM-5:00 PM

    Join San Juan MRC as they talk trash!

    Brickworks, 150 Nichols Street, Friday Harbor, WA

  • Apr


    April Commission Meeting

    April 26
    9:45 AM-2:30 PM

    Northwest Maritime Center, Port Townsend

  • Apr


    Clallam MRC Oiled Wildlife Training

    April 27
    8:00 AM-5:00 PM

    A one-day interactive training that focuses on the effects of oil on wildlife; why rehabilitation of oiled wildlife is important; aquatic bird behavior and anatomy; wildlife handling; and how to provide initial care for oiled birds.

    387 E. Washington St. Sequim, WA