Island County encompasses over 212 miles of shoreline along Whidbey and Camano islands. More than 81,000 people call the county home, with Oak Harbor the largest city at just over 20,000 residents. Military history runs deep on Whidbey Island, where the Naval Air Station is a major contributor to the Oak Harbor area culture and economy. Island County maintains a strong rural/agricultural base, and holds miles of pastoral scenery. The marine environment here is rich and productive, and many Treaty Tribes have Usual and Accustomed fishing areas in county waters. Admiralty Inlet, the entrance to central Puget Sound, is also the location of an experimental tidal energy pilot project slated to begin in 2013.
The MRC has a strong focus on science, education and stewardship and intrinsic connection to the Washington State University Beach Watchers and Shore Stewards programs. These programs lend critical support to many conservation efforts around Puget Sound.
The MRC's stated purpose is to "contribute to the protection of the local and Northwest Straits marine environments through education, research and voluntary action. In so doing the MRC recommends remedial actions to local authorities and builds community awareness of the issues and support for the remedies."
- Cornet Bay Monitoring - Eight volunteers conducted forage fish surveys along with 50 volunteers trained to monitor juvenile salmonid in the newly restored Cornet Bay
- Eelgrass Monitoring - Analyzed and mapped GIS data collected through aerial and underwater surveys for the 10th year in a row
- Phytoremediation Project - Tested the effectiveness of phytoremediation to remove contaminates from water.
- Pigeon Guillemot Breeding Survey - Completed a six-year monitoring report and conducted outreach to promote awareness of these endearing birds