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. 

Forage Fish Monitoring Community

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.


Foundation Staff

Robyn du Pre, Northwest Straits Foundation Executive Director

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, Development Director

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

Contact Us
Northwest Straits Foundation
1155 N State St Ste 402
Bellingham WA 98225


Click here to see the Northwest Straits Foundation's 2013 annual report to the community.

Click here to see the Northwest Straits Foundation's Board of Directors.