The faces of the Northwest Straits Commission past and present.

2023 Impact Report

This report highlights the significant contributions of Marine Resources Committees (MRCs), partners, Commission and MRC staff, and volunteers in 2023. You’ll find the achievements, regional project successes, and impacts in Conservation & Restoration, Education & Outreach, Monitoring & Research, and Advisory outlined in this report. In celebrating our 25th anniversary, the report also emphasizes our ongoing commitment to progress.

The work of the Northwest Straits Commission, the MRCs, and the Northwest Straits Foundation all focus on the same goal--to restore and protect our marine waters. Each component of the Initiative has unique skills and organizational characteristics that allow for strong collective action. The sum of our work is greater than its individual parts.

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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.

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March 2024 NW Straits Commission Meeting

March 29

  • Member Spotlight: Patti Gobin

  • Olympia oyster restoration in Fidalgo Bay

    Skagit MRC

    This summer, Skagit MRC conducted a bay-wide survey on native oyster populations in Fidalgo Bay, revealing a significant increase from 3 million in 2018 to over 5.5 million in 2023 — a nearly doubled count in five years. The native oysters have not only multiplied but have also expanded beyond shell plot areas, with a notable concentration of 1.2 million Olympia oysters in channels near Sharpe's corner in the south end of the bay, — a surprising discovery.

    Skagit MRC: Restoration of the Olympia Oyster, Ostrea lurida, in Fidalgo Bay Year Twenty-One Report

  • Ocean Research College Academy (ORCA)


    Recently Snohomish MRC partnered with Ocean Research College Academy (ORCA) to explore broader water quality monitoring for Puget Sound. They collaborated to establish a standard quality assurance program, analyzed 2023 data, and plan to analyze past data, contributing to a database for a comprehensive understanding of Possession Sound's health based on student-collected data.

    Learn more at ORCA

  • Plastic Free Salish Sea Contest Winner!

    San Juan MRC

    San Juan MRC, in partnership with the Plastic Free Salish Sea initiative, concluded a successful contest for removing plastic from beaches and roads this fall. Contest winner Heidi Laursen of Orcas Island recorded over 10 hours of removing microplastics and debris from local beaches for the 2023 Plastic Free Salish Sea reporting contest. For her efforts Heidi was rewarded a $100 gift certificate to Friday Harbor House.

    A heartfelt thank you to all beach and road stewards who help to keep our land and seas trash-free, your hard work and support is appreciated! Get involved at

Member Spotlight: Patti Gobin

San Juan MRC

Patti Gobin has over 25 years of Community Development experience with the Tulalip Tribes. Presently, Ms. Gobin is with the Natural Resource Treaty Rights office working with state, local and federal agencies regarding those issues that impact the life ways of the Tulalip Tribes. In addition to her years of experience, Ms. Gobin is a member of the Tulalip Tribes and is well versed in the culture and history of her people. Her personal goal is to invest in the future of the Coast Salish community, helping to affect a sustainable future for the next generations to come.

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Upcoming Events

  • Mar


    March 2024 NW Straits Commission Meeting

    March 29
    10 AM-12 PM

    Zoom link here.

  • Apr


    April 2024 NW Straits Commission Meeting

    April 26
    10 AM-12 PM

    Zoom link here.

  • May


    May 2024 NW Straits Commission Meeting

    May 31
    10 AM-3 PM

    Location TBD