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2017 Lecture Series - Another record-breaking year!

Jan 2017 Poster Rev

The Friends Lecture Series volunteer team has hit another one out of the ballpark!  The 2017 season was a record-breaker in total attendance for the year and for the highest attendance ever at a single lecture.  The season opened with an audience of 290 crowding into every nook and cranny of the Reid Harbor Room of the NW ESD Building to hear “Research and Insights on Northwest Coast Humpback, Blue, and Gray Whales and their Incursions into the Salish Sea” by  John Calambokidis, research biologist, Cascadia Research Cooperative, Olympia, WA. This gave our planning team a bit of heartburn as we were worried about having to find yet another larger venue.  Fortunately, attendance at the following lectures dropped back to more normal levels (110 – 172) ending with a new record of 696 attendeesfor the season.

Obviously the community values the Lecture Series during the long winter months.  Audience evaluations confirm that with praise such as . . . “This was excellent. . . . Fantastic! . . . I learned a lot. . . . Great photos, dynamic speaker!  . . . The series is very useful to the community. . . . We appreciate the ease of seating for wheelchairs. . . . Like the lectures although I don't understand everything - stretches your mind.”  Well guess what?  It stretches our mind too!

The volunteer team is taking a break over the summer but keeping their eyes and ears open for speaker candidates for the 2018 lecture series.  The dates for 2018 have already been selected:  January 19, February 16, March 16, and April 20.  We’re sure the 2018 season will again deliver high-quality educational presentations to an enthusiastic audience.  This year our volunteers “reported” 203 hours of time putting on the 2017 lecture series, which of course is less than the actual amount.

Friends would like to thank our project lead, Matt Kerschbaum, and the many others on the volunteer team who make this community event possible each year.  There are several ways volunteers support the project, including the planning team that selects and organizes the excellent speakers, the “Tiger Team” that comes early and stays late to setup and put away chairs and tables, and the kitchen crew who bake cookies and brew coffee for our audience.  Special thanks to Liz Huseby for organizing and baking fresh cookies, which helped the series bring in enough donations to cover costs and set aside a little for next year.

We’re looking for a few additional volunteers for the 2018 season, so if you’re interested in getting involved, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. let us know.  We’ll put Matt in touch with you and get you tied in with a great group of volunteers who are dedicated to making the lecture series a great event every year – and having a good time while they do it.

Thanks to our amazing Lecture Series volunteer team!

Jan 2017 large crowd

Fall Film Series on Hiatus for 2017

FOSB FilmswithFriendslogoWith the move of the Fidalgo Shoreline Academy to October the Friends Board decided to not offer the Fall Film series (October & November) this year.  Since the Trail Tales grant ended, Friends has not been able to continue  its project to sponsor short documentary films made by students from local schools and Western Washington University, which was a key component of our film series.

We will be evaluating whether to continue this in 2018 including looking at the best time of year, type of film event (series versus festival), and other questions.  We’ll also be considering other grant opportunities to restart our collaborations with young filmmakers.  Stay tuned and we’ll be updating you in a future edition of the newsletter on our decisions.  If you have any suggestions, please contact us This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Save the Date - 2017 Fidalgo Shoreline Academy

October 21, 2017 - Anacortes, WAFSA logo trnsp

NW Educational Services District Building

The Fidalgo Shoreline Academy is an annual educational symposium and fundraiser for Friends, which has been offered since 2013.  This day-long event offers an opportunity to learn more about a wide variety of topics from excellent speakers.  The Friends Board decided in early 2017 to move the time of the annual Fidalgo Shore Academy to fall instead of spring. Another change this year is that the venue for the event is being moved to the NW Educational Services District Building, where the Friends Lecture Series is hosted.  This venue will offer more space and improved logistics and audio visual resources that we hope will enhance the experience for attendees, as well as the organizing team.










This year’s symposium will be held on October 21st and will feature a keynote speaker and three presentation sessions each offering three topics from which attendees can choose one.  Again this year, the Friends Trail Tales project will be offering interpretive walks as part of the options for the presentation sessions.  If you’ve attended in prior years you will be receiving information on purchasing tickets and if not, check our website in September for more information on how to register for this event.



Get your Discovery Passport & Win a Prize

Fidalgo Bay Day

August 12 - 11 AM to 3 PMgirlsattouchtank id500

Fidalgo Bay Resort

4701 Fidalgo Bay Road

Friends of Skagit Beaches is again celebrating of our Skagit County estuaries, focusing on Fidalgo Bay, as part of the 2017 Fidalgo Bay Day celebration hosted by the Skagit Marine Resources Committee.  There will be fun for the whole family including food – fun activities and displays provided by a wide variety of local organizations, free chowder & shellfish samples and a traditional Samish Indian Nation salmon lunch (for purchase), the ever-popular beach seining demonstration (we’re sure the kids will squeal with joy again this year), and of course the really fun Discovery Passport activity and prizes.

Friends is again offering a “Discovery Passport” for attendees with a variety of hosted “Discovery Stations”, passport station questions for kids and adults, and prizes for those who complete the challenge.  Pick up your passport, visit the Discovery Stations, answer the challenge question, get your passport stamped and when complete return to the information table to pick up your prize.  This year’s Discovery Passport activities are being supported through a generous donation from Shell Puget Sound Refinery.

Again this year we will be offering a coloring contest for drawings that celebrate Fidalgo Bay, a Washington State Aquatic Reserve.  Last year’s winning drawing (above) will be featured on the cover of the Discovery Passport.  Other entries will be posted at our information table showing the inspired artwork from 2016.  Come join us for a great educational opportunity – disguised as fun!



2016 Coloring Contest Winning Entry
Drawn by Elena Johnson

Matching Grant Update

Friends of Skagit Beaches has made great progress in raising money to take advantage of a matching grant opportunity with a goal of raising a total of $10,000.  An anonymous donor offered to match up to $5,000 in donations all of which are designated to support the Coastal Volunteer Partnership at Padilla Bay (CVP), which is our primary funding grant provided annually to support this important community volunteer program.  The other major fundraising effort that supports CVP is our Fidalgo Shoreline Academy.  With the move of this event from spring to fall, the matching grant fills a critical void in funding to support our planned donations to CVP in 2017.

We still need to raise about $900 to take full advantage of the match and raise the full $10,000 for CVP.  If you haven’t already donated to the cause, please help us reach the goal!

How can you donate?  Donate online using PayPal or mail a check to FOSB, P.O.Box 481, Anacortes, WA 98221. Be sure to include a note designating your gift to the "CVP Matching Grant". As always we thank you for your support, we couldn't do our work without you.