Beach Naturalists Plant the Seeds of Stewardship
Washington Park's Sunset Beach in Anacortes is a small stretch of cobble shoreline that provides more than just a beautiful view. Visitors ranging from excited schoolchildren, weekend locals, and summer campers come to the park to explore and experience the nearshore habitat. Skagit MRC recruited and trained ten very enthusiastic volunteers in the spring of 2014 to educate visitors about local intertidal marine life and how to reduce recreational impacts. Throughout the summer, this team of trained Beach Naturalists has been sharing their passion for the marine environment through a series of interpretive programs at the beach. The programs are tailored to engage citizens of all ages and promote personal connections to the marine environment that will hopefully last a lifetime. After all, isn't that what stewardship is about?
Photo: Future stewards get a close up of marine critters. Credit: Nancy Olson
Marine Debris Removal Program Update
In mid-July, the Northwest Straits Commission partnered with the Washington Conservation Corps (WCC), Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe and Jefferson Land Trust to remove accumulations of marine debris from Sequim and Quilcene Bays. The WCC Veteran's Crew removed 2,160 pounds of debris including oyster seed bags, shellfish aquaculture nets, large styrofoam blocks, and car tires used as shoreline armoring. Special thanks to Jefferson County MRC member Ralph Riccio for coordinating project logistics.
Our Marine Debris Program Coordinator Paul Argites is always on the lookout for new project sites. If you know of a Puget Sound beach in need of cleanup work please contact Paul Argites or (360) 853-5387. More information about the Marine Debris Program can be found on our web site.
Photo: WCC Veteran's Crew remove debris in Quilcene Bay. Credit: Paul Argites
MRC Picnic and Meadowdale Restoration Site Visit
Last month, Snohomish MRC combined their annual picnic with a field visit to Meadowdale Park, where the MRC is teaming up with the Snohomish County Parks Department to conduct a feasibility study to look at a variety of options to improve public access to the beach, and improve fish and nearshore habitat. Currently both people and fish have to travel through a culvert under the railroad tracks to access the beach.
Snohomish County Councilmember Stephanie Wright attended the tour along with Snohomish County Park Director, Tom Teigen, and Park Staff Logan Daniels and Sharon Swan. Ranger Doug Dailer was also at the event to help coordinate logistics and provide local knowledge. Councilmember Wright expressed appreciation for the work of the MRC to help move important nearshore projects, such as this one, forward.
Photo: Snohomish MRC members receive a tour of future restoration site. Credit: Holly Faulstich
Shedding New Light on Eelgrass Recovery
Interesting read in the Salish Sea Currents magazine about eelgrass recovery. Check it out here!
Puget Sound Speed-Crabbing Derby
On July 19, Snohomish MRC members and staff assisted with the 2nd Annual Puget Sound Speed Crabbing Derby at the Everett Marina. Participants competed in teams to weigh-in the 10 heaviest Dungeness crabs caught during a set time period. The MRC provided assistance at the weigh station, distributed recreational crabber education packets and provided information to participants on local regulations and best practices.
Northwest Straits Commission Meeting
The next Northwest Straits Commission meeting will be held on Friday, August 22 via WebEx conference call. For information about past and upcoming meetings click here.
16th Annual MRC Conference
To be held Dec. 5-6 at the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, WA. Information about the MRC Conference can be found here.