Kelp bed near Ebey's Landing. Photo credit: Rich Yukubousky

Puget Sound Kelp Conservation and Recovery Plan Released

Vibrant kelp forests are vital to the health of Puget Sound and Salish Sea. The recently published Puget Sound Kelp Conservation and Recovery Plan provides an overview of kelp forests in Puget Sound, including distribution and trends, stressors, critical ecosystem roles, and cultural values.

The plan also recommends strategies to reduce stressors, provides a blueprint to protect and restore kelp forests, and urges continued and strengthened collaboration between diverse groups.

There is broad support for the Kelp Plan and many partners have signed onto a shared vision for thriving kelp forests in Puget Sound. Download the plan and find more information here.

2019 Annual Report

We've recently released ou 2019 annual report, in which we showcase recent community-led actions that result in positive impacts to Puget Sound. Organized around four categories - conservation and restoration, monitoring, education, and advisory - this report is part of our collective story, which is made possible through the dedicated network of volunteers, staff, and partners. Click here to read the report. 

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   Twitter   Instagram   LinkedIn

More About Us and the Northwest Straits Region »

July Commission Meeting

July 31


  • Member Spotlight: Judy D'Amore

  • Boating with whales

    San Juan MRC

    Vessel disturbance is a threat to the Southern Resident killer whales, so in 2018 the San Juan MRC launched a pilot study and outreach campaign to shift boater behavior. A whale warning flag was introduced as a prompt to alert boaters to the presence of whales, and project partners created materials to share dockside and at local and regional events to ensure that others knew what the flags meant.

    After two years of the program throughout the summer boating seasons, the MRC has recently published a report about the effectiveness of the flag to raise compliance and increase awareness of the Be Whale Wise vessel regulations and guidelines for best boating practices around whales. Click here to check out the results of their pilot study and what they learned in their final report.

  • Anchor out for eelgrass!

    Jefferson MRC

    The start of summer boating season is always something to look forward to, perhaps especially this year when many other activities will be limited. In Port Townsend, a sure sign of boating season is when the voluntary no anchor zone buoys arrive to remind boaters to anchor outside the eelgrass beds. This week Jefferson MRC replaced those winter marker buoys with summer navigational buoys.

    Eelgrass beds are home to salmon, crab, and other marine life, and in a popular anchorage like Port Townsend, frequent anchor dragging can add up to a lot of damage. In most cases, vessels only have to move offshore a few boat lengths to eliminate the anchor impact, and deeper water provides a better place to set an anchor than the softer sediment preferred by eelgrass, where boats are more prone to dragging and drifting.

    Click here to learn more about Jefferson MRC’s voluntary no anchor zones. 

  • Skagit Kids on the Beach

    Skagit MRC

    Social distancing guidelines have forced Skagit MRC to get creative with this year's Kids on the Beach program, which is being carried out by educators at Padilla Bay Reserve. Program leads have developed a curriculum that includes a mix of online and offline activities, including videos, games, coloring pages, science journals, and a list of questions. Educators have also developed and distributed a curriculum for students who are unable to access the internet. Nine classes with more than 200 elementary and middle school students from Sedro Woolley, Concrete, and La Conner in Skagit County as well as Friday Harbor, Mukilteo and Everett are participating.

Member Spotlight: Judy D'Amore

Jefferson MRC

Judy D'Amore is a member of Jefferson MRC and co-founder of the Port Townsend Marine Science Center (PTMSC) where she served in many roles for over 30 years, developing and leading K-12 marine education programs, training teachers, designing exhibits, and coordinating research and monitoring projects staffed by middle and high school students.

Continue Reading »

Upcoming Events

  • Jul


    Virtual MRC Symposium: Session #6

    July 23
    3:30 PM-5:00 PM

    This is the sixth of a multi-part series called the Virtual MRC Symposium. Representatives from San Juan MRC will highlight projects, successes and lessons learned during this session. Register here.


  • Jul


    July Commission Meeting

    July 31
    10:00 AM-1:00 PM

    Click here to join the Zoom meeting.

    Meeting ID: 845 6330 3405
    Password: 655732
    Dial in: 253-215-8782

    For meeting security, you'll be placed in a waiting room before being directly admitted to the meeting. 


  • Aug


    Virtual MRC Symposium: Session #7

    August 06
    3:30 PM-5:00 PM

    This is the seventh of a multi-part series called the Virtual MRC Symposium. Representatives from Island MRC will highlight projects, successes and lessons learned during this session. Register here.