Northwest Straits Foundation
The Northwest Straits Foundation is a non-profit organization established to support the scientific, restoration, and education projects and programs of the Northwest Straits Marine Conservation Initiative. The Foundation’s mission is to protect and restore the marine resources of the Northwest Straits by supporting research, monitoring, restoration, stewardship, conservation and education programs and projects both at the local and regional level.
The Northwest Straits Foundation was created in 2002 to augment the ability of the Northwest Straits Initiative to pursue funding for its programs and projects. The Foundation has since grown into a strong regional organization that works closely with the Northwest Straits Commission and the seven county-based Marine Resources Committees to set regional priorities and develop projects that achieve our commonly held marine conservation objectives.
The Foundation attains its goals by:
• Working in collaboration with the Marine Resources Committees of the Northwest Straits to develop, fund, and manage restoration, education, and citizen science projects within their home waters; and
• Developing and managing restoration and education projects of regional scope, such as the Derelict Fishing Gear Removal program and the new Community Oil Spill Preparedness and Response Program.
Robyn du Pré, Executive Director
Robyn brings twenty-five years’ experience in senior leadership positions in non-profit conservation organizations to her work at the Foundation. She has worked as an advocate and educator for the marine environment for many years, with a particular focus on community engagement in issues surrounding storm water, toxics, and cleanup. She is excited by the potential of creating collaborative, community-based stewardship of the Northwest Straits ecosystem. Robyn holds a B.S. in environmental science and a M.A in political science and environmental policy.
Joan Drinkwin, Programs Director
Joan oversees projects and programs ranging from derelict fishing gear removals to nearshore restoration, outreach and education. She has worked for more than twenty years with private non-profit organizations as well as the State of Washington on marine conservation and restoration projects and policies in Puget Sound. Joan served on the City of Mount Vernon planning commission, and has served on the boards of several non-profit organizations. She has a master’s degree from the University of Texas.
Lisa Kaufman, Nearshore Program Manager
Lisa Kaufman was formerly the Restoration Manager for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. She has worked on restoration projects around the region and was key to successful implementation of the Northwest Straits Initiative's creosote debris removal program and an important partner on many nearshore projects. Lisa will be a great asset as the foundation sets restoration targets and helps MRCs prioritize and develop their projects.
Jill Clark, Director of Outreach and Development
Jill is the foundation's first Director of Outreach and Development. She has many years’ experience, including serving as the first president of the Bellingham Technical College Foundation and, more recently, as development director for the Kulshan Community Land Trust in Bellingham. She has deep experience with crafting messages that resonate with key audiences, overseeing organizational communications, and helping donors find the best way to express the philanthropic spirit.
Cathy Cameron, Accounting Manager
Sharon Cody, Administrative Coordinator