Jefferson MRC stormwater eco-scape activity at Wooden Boat festival. Photo: Michelle Chow

Fall is for festivals!

It’s festival season in the Northwest, and Jefferson MRC participated in Port Townsend’s signature event this month, the Wooden Boat Festival, where they hosted a booth to share information about eelgrass and boat anchors as well as stormwater and actions people can take, reaching hundreds of event attendees. The MRC was also part of a "Passport to Adventure" activity to promote all the marine conservation education booths at the Festival, with about 100 attendees participating in the activity.

The Wooden Boat Festival is also when the Jefferson MRC checks on boater compliance for their Voluntary No Anchor Zone to protect eelgrass along the Port Townsend waterfront. Of the hundreds of boats anchored in the area, only two small boats anchored in the No Anchor Zone for a short period during the Festival. Thanks, boaters, for helping to protect the eelgrass!

In Skagit County, Fidalgo Bay Day is the annual flagship public outreach event for the Skagit MRC. The 15th annual event was held this month, again hosted at the Samish Indian Nation at their Fidalgo Bay Resort clubhouse. With cooperative weather, an estimated 400 people of all ages attended to check out interactive displays and activities held on the beach and inside the clubhouse. Dozens of volunteers make this event possible, as well as the participation of many local organizations and partners.

Whatcom MRC was part of the second annual SeaFeast event this past weekend along with two other events for the Whatcom Water Week celebration, and the Clallam MRC is ready for the Dungeness River Festival happening this week. Join them on September 27 from 4-pm or on September 28 from 9am-3pm at the Dungeness River Audubon Center.

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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More About Us and the Northwest Straits Region »
  • Member Spotlight: Alan Clark

  • Meet Dana Oster, Marine Program Manager

    Northwest Straits Commission

    Join us in a warm welcome to our new Marine Program Manager, Dana Oster. Dana earned her Master’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of Virginia, and most recently was working with the Northwest Straits Foundation as a nearshore restoration specialist.

    Much of Dana's work experience has focused on nearshore oceanography and marine water quality in the Salish Sea, both in Washington and on the BC side of the border. With Dana’s well-balanced skill set and her head start on the workings of the Northwest Straits Initiative, she is already hitting the ground running on a lot of regional projects.

  • Forage fish sampling success


    After two years of collecting forage fish samples the Clallam MRC recently had some exciting news – surf smelt, sand lance and rock sole eggs were found in samples from several of their stations!

    At Cline Spit, samples taken April-June contained surf smelt eggs. While Cline Spit was a known area for forage fish spawning, the MRC had yet to find evidence of it in their sampling.

    At Ediz Hook, the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe has led a restoration effort along the inside of the spit and the MRC began sampling those sites in the hopes of documenting forage fish spawning in the newly-restored area. Although drifting sediment required that the MRC move their sampling sites further west over time, surf smelt and sand lance eggs were found in samples from this year’s late winter through spring samples.

    Congratulations to the Clallam MRC for your persistence and dedication to this important work! Learn more about forage fish efforts in Clallam County here.

  • Leadership Council tours the islands

    San Juan

    San Juan MRC member and President of the Pacific Whale Watch Association Jeff Friedman took the Puget Sound Partnership's Leadership Council on a boat tour of the San Juan Islands earlier this month, adding on to the group's meeting scheduled in Friday Harbor.

    Joined by representatives from San Juan County, additional members of the MRC, and Commission Director Lucas Hart, the Leadership Council had the opportunity to learn about the MRC's local work on habitat restoration, salmon recovery and Southern Resident Killer Whale projects.

    Learn more about the work of the San Juan MRC on their website at, or follow them on Facebook.

Member Spotlight: Alan Clark

Clallam MRC

The Northwest Straits Commission welcomed Alan Clark to the Initiative family in 2015, when he joined the Clallam MRC. Alan grew up near the beach in southern California where he enjoyed exploring the ocean and working in biological sciences. After moving to Washington, he met an MRC member who invited him to one of their meetings, where Alan realized how important the MRCs were in addressing local marine conservation issues.

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Upcoming Events

  • Nov


    20th Annual MRC Conference

    November 16-November 17

    This year we celebrate 20 years!

    Interested in getting involved? Contact Nicole at

    Fort Worden Conference Center, Jefferson County

  • Dec


    December Northwest Straits Commission Meeting

    December 07
    10:00 AM-12:00 PM

    Open to the public.

    WebEx - Conference call