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Join us for the Fidalgo Shoreline Academy - A day of learning for everyone!

The 6th annual Fidalgo Shoreline Academy is coming up on Saturday, October 21, 2017 from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM at the Northwest Educational Services Building, 1601 R Avenue, Anacortes. If you've enjoyed other Friends of Skagit Beaches events such as our Winter Lecture Series or Trail Tales interperpretive programs, you won't want to miss this year's Fidalgo Shoreline Academy. This year we have a lineup of top-notch presenters including keynote speaker Dr. Phoebe Barnard, Executive Director of the Pacific Biodiversity Institute, presenting on the alarming decline in global biodiversity and how we can respond proactively in a way that gives as many species as possible a chance to survive the gauntlet of the next 300 years of dizzying evironmental change.  In addition, the event features three breakout sessions with 10 options for you to choose from. Want to know more? Go to our Fidalgo Shoreline Academy page where you can read about each speaker and their presentation.

Online registration through EventBrite is NOW OPEN!  If you are ready to register on-line now, click HERE.  NOTE:  If you wish to make an online donation to Friends concurrent with your ticket purchase (we really appreciate that!), be sure to scroll all the way down in the ticket options window.  If you prefer to use a mail-in form, download our event brochure by clicking HERE. Print the brochure, cutout the form, fill it in and mail it with your enclosed check to Friends.  The cost for a full day of learning is only $30 with an option to purchase a sack lunch for $10. A GREAT value!  We hope to see you at the Academy in October!

Olympia Oyster

Olympia Oyster

The Olympia Oyster is the smallest oyster in the world and the only one native to the west coast. Once abundant from Alaska to Mexico, Olympia Oysters still inhabit that enormous range but only scattered in small numbers here and there.

A big Olympia is just 3½ inches across. Its light gray shell camouflages it in tidepools and shallow bays. As other oysters, the Olympia sucks in water and sifts out tiny plants and animals for food. Every day it filters 12 gallons, benefitting other animals and marine plants by clearing the water.

Each oyster is male or female but alternates genders during its life. Newborns soon look like tiny adults and drift until finding a hard surface to attach to for the rest of their lives. Because the preferred surface is another oyster shell, oysters can grew into huge layered colonies. These shelter many other small animals that are food for fish, crabs, and other marine creatures.

Olympia oysters taste good and grow slowly, maturing in 5 or 6 years. From the 19th century into the 20th, people harvested them more quickly than the population could replenish. And water pollution ruined oyster habitat. Companies raising oysters to sell found the Pacific oyster from Asia was bigger and faster-growing, so that's the main one farmed in the Pacific Northwest now. Work is underway to restore the native oyster, and some commercial growers raise them.

The decline of the once very common Olympia Oyster shows how important it is to follow shellfish harvest regulations and that controlling pollution is essential for the survival of all marine creatures.

In Friends Notes

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Friends of Skagit Beaches

Our Mission: Protecting Skagit shorelines and marine waters through education, citizen science, and stewardship. Learn More...

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