Top row (L to R): Alan Clark, Barbara Bennett, Sarah Brown, Christina Koons, Sarah Fisken, Pete Haase. Bottom row: Doug Stark, Cheryl Lowe. Photo: Sasha Horst

Sneak peek at 2019 MRC projects

At our June meeting, representatives from all seven Marine Resources Committees turned out to share information about an upcoming project – a wonderful glimpse into the work they’re planning for 2019. For some counties, the work is the next phase of an ongoing effort, while others are embarking on new projects. In all cases, the local volunteers are deciding on their priorities and contributing their time and expertise to move forward.

Each MRC has a list of projects, but we only had time to share one each during the day-long meeting. Their presentations are available online (10 MB):

  • Skagit MRC - Kids on the Beach, presented by Pete Haase
  • Snohomish MRC - MyCoast smartphone app outreach, presented by Sarah Brown
  • Clallam MRC - Elwha Beach Stewardship, presented by Alan Clark
  • Jefferson MRC - Public Forum on Shellfish Aquaculture, presented by Cheryl Lowe and Sarah Fisken
  • San Juan MRC - Southern Resident Killer Whale Recovery Efforts, presented by Christina Koons
  • Island MRC - Community forum outreach, presented by Barbara Bennett
  • Whatcom MRC - North Sound Stewards, presented by Doug Stark

Learn more about the work of the MRCs on our website.

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.

Find us on Facebook.     Follow us on Twitter.

More About Us and the Northwest Straits Region »

August NWSC Meeting

August 24

Bellingham Field Ecology Office, 913 Squalicum Way #101, Bellingham, WA 98225

  • Member Spotlight: Al Bergstein

  • Jerry's Journey


    Jerry Larson was a member of the Whatcom MRC from 2001-2009, serving as chair of the Clam Subcommittee for much of his tenure. Jerry was passionate about restoring Birch Bay to the memory of his youth and was a tireless advocate for salmon, shellfish, and water quality. He was the champion for several volunteer-powered MRC projects, including clam surveys, clam seeding, clam tent study, and water quality monitoring. When Jerry passed away in early 2011 he bequeathed funds to the Whatcom MRC to support local marine education and stewardship projects.

    The MRC has now completed Jerry's Journey, an interpretive nature tour at Birch Bay State Park, funded in part by Jerry's bequest. At the recent Birch Bay Beach Fest and Feast, which celebrated the reopening of 129 acres of shellfish beds at the mouth of Terrell Creek after a 10-year closure, Whatcom MRC held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the installation of the Jerry’s Journey interpretive signs within the park. Jerry’s family cut the ribbon and was presented an award to honor Jerry’s passion and stewardship of Birch Bay. Project partners and local community members also attended, with approximately 500 people at the event.

    Click here for a map of Jerry's Journey.

  • New rain garden in uptown Port Townsend


    Jefferson MRC, WSU Extension and the City of Port Townsend teamed up to install a new rain garden near Garfield and Madison Streets in late June, capturing stormwater flow from a new drainage area within the Monroe storm drain system.

    Twelve community volunteers contributed over 70 hours on this project, and the City of Port Townsend provided equipment and site preparation work. Two WSU Extension Water Program faculty provided advice, design, and coordination services. The adjacent landowner is excited to be the volunteer steward for this site. Many thanks to everyone involved for helping to keep our marine waters as healthy as possible!

    Learn more about Jefferson MRC's rain gardens here

  • Beach walks with a purpose at Point Whitehorn Marine Reserve

    Northwest Straits Foundation

    Shoreline landowners have a great interest in protecting their beach from erosion, and they love to take a walk on the beach. Combining the two, the Northwest Straits Foundation recently hosted an educational beach walk at Point Whitehorn Marine Reserve in partnership with the Whatcom MRC, Birch Bay Watershed and Aquatic Resources Management District (BBWARM), and the Whatcom Conservation District.

    Led by coastal geomorphologist Andrea MacLennan, shoreline landowners learned the basics of coastal processes, bluff geology and how that relates to bluff erosion processes, along with how to manage their upland properties with good drainage practices and native vegetation. Sharing critical information in an interactive format allows landowners to experience the beach environment while learning more about their unique coastline. Click here to learn more about the Foundation’s work with shoreline landowners.

Member Spotlight: Al Bergstein

Jefferson MRC

Al Bergstein's interest in environmental issues goes back to the 1970s when he volunteered as a publicity director for Seattle Audubon. His career path spanned computer sales - back when personal computing was a fledgling industry - into work on the technical side that included twelve years with Microsoft. But this self-described "geek" didn't limit himself to the technical world: he's one of those rare people who understands what's under the hood of computers while also having an artistic and social side.

Continue Reading »

Upcoming Events

  • Aug


    August NWSC Meeting

    August 24
    10:30 AM-3:30 PM

    *Rescheduled from August 31.


    Ferry schedule for San Juans/Anacortes

    Ferry schedule for Coupeville/Port Townsend

    Bellingham Field Ecology Office, 913 Squalicum Way #101, Bellingham, WA 98225

  • Aug


    Cornet Bay August Planting Party

    August 24
    10:00 AM-1:00 PM

    Island MRC is partnering with the Northwest Straits Foundation and Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group to provide weeding and maintenance to the newly restored Cornet Bay shoreline restoration site.

    Gloves and tools will be provided, but you are also encouraged to bring your own if you like.

    For more detailed information, or to sign up ahead of time, please contact Kelsey at:


    Cornet Bay

  • Aug


    Bowman Bay Planting - Late August

    August 31
    10:00 AM-1:00 PM

    The Skagit MRC partnered with the Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group for the planting maintenance at Bowman Bay and needs volunteers. The plant maintenance activities will primarily include weeding and watering.  

    Bowman Bay