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It's summer - what better time to enjoy Skagit Beaches!

What's summer without pie? Do you love pie? What could make a pie taste sweeter, than knowing that your pie purchase is also supporting your local Friends of Skagit Beaches nonprofit group? Friends is the featured nonprofit at S & W Pies, located at 20977 Hwy 20 [(360)707-1952], who sell tasty pies at amazing prices ~$5. S&W will donate a portion of pie proceeds for the whole month of July to Friends. So let your sweet tooth take over, it's for a good cause!

The Friends Summer 2017 newsletter is now available online.  Didn't get the newsletter in your email inbox?  Just click the "Subscribe to our Newsletter" in the black box on the left and  you'll be set up to receive the fall newsletter directly.

There's a lot going on out there on the beach with citizen science projects we support, including intertidal monitoring in Fidalgo Bay, Bowman Bay and March Point, ongoing forage fish spawning surveys. Of course we're busy planning and getting ready for upcoming events including Fidalgo Bay Day on August 12th, which includes the Friends Discovery Passport activity and getting ready for opening registration for the Fidalgo Shoreline Academy on October 21st.  We hope we'll see you at both events.

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

Plastic waste polluting or marine environments is a major issue that is da...
An Afternoon to Remember -  by Pete Haase Friday June 2, 2017 was an ...
Friends of Skagit Beaches volunteers, Barbara Lechner and Michelle Marquard...

Friends of Skagit Beaches

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

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