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The Salish Sea Steward Training program is accepting applications!

Dates: Tuesdays - March 20, 2018 to May 22, 2018 -1pm to 5pm
Where: Padilla Bay Reserve, 10441 Bayview-Edison Road, Mount Vernon

This exceptional program offers 40 hours of education and hands-on learning for volunteers interested in working on projects, teams and with non-profits that focus on this incredible marine ecosystem. 

This year, the program is offered by the Skagit MRC with support from Friends of Skagit Beaches. The training is free with a commitment to volunteer 50 hours over the next year.

Applications are due March 2, 2018
Click here for application


The 2018 Lecture Series is in full swing! Join us at 7 pm down at the NWESD building, Anacortes.

Upcoming Lectures:

February 16th – The Californians are Coming! Shifts in Range and Abundance for northwestern Hummingbirds. Presenter: CJ Battey, UW and Burke Museum

March 16th – The Salish Sea: What is it/How it Works/ Who Uses It/ What it Means. Presenter: Dr. Bert Webber, Professor Emeritus, WWU

April 20th – The Story of NOAA: An exploration of NOAA’s science, service and stewardship mission in the Salish Sea and across the Western United States. Presenter: Polly Hicks, Restoration Ecologist, NOAA

 Visit our Lecture Series page to get the details.

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

Friends of Skagit Beaches received the good news on November 28, 2017 that ...
By Wayne Huseby, President of Friends of Skagit Beaches On a recent cr...
by Hillary FosterThis past year I, as a member of the Puget SoundCorps (PSC...

Friends of Skagit Beaches

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

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