Snohomish County is the most populous and urban of the seven Northwest Straits counties. With a population of nearly 695,000, more people live in Snohomish County than the other six MRC counties combined. Its 130 miles of shoreline are largely developed, with the Port of Everett a major industrial presence, naval base and marine transportation hub. The Edmonds Underwater Park, located next to the Edmonds-Kingston ferry terminal, draws 25,000 scuba divers each year to see its enormous resident rockfish, lingcod, Pacific giant octopus, and other creatures. Snohomish County waters support economically and ecologically valuable Dungeness crab, salmon populations, and productive estuarine habitat. The Tulalip and Stillaguamish Tribes have Usual and Accustomed fishing grounds here.
In 2015, Snohomish MRC completed an assessment of Port Susan Bay to identify high priority parcels for protection and removal of shoreline armoring. This allowed the MRC to target outreach efforts to reach shoreline landowners and find those willing to consider alternatives to hard armoring.
The Snohomish MRC carried out a creative approach to share information about ways to prevent the crab pot loss through a social marketing campaign called #CatchMoreCrabSnoCo. This campaign reached hundreds of crabbers directly and many more indirectly, with more than 120 photos shared. All photos were tagged with good crabbing practices. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife enthusiastically supports this project and appreciates the efforts to keep derelict crab pots from needlessly being lost. It will be expanded throughout the region in 2016.
With additional funding leveraged from the County and other grants, the Snohomish MRC also carried out forage fish surveys on local beaches, made progress toward restoring beaches at Meadowdale Beach and Howarth Park, coordinated with multiple agencies and organizations on derelict vessel removal and oil spill preparedness, and assisted with the WA Department of Fish and Wildlife’s caged mussel study to monitor contaminants in Puget Sound marine waters.
- Mussel Watch Program - Volunteers deployed mussels in October 2015 at three different sites
- Kelp Surveys - Participants conducted surveys via kayaks equipped with GPS in July, 2015 and found 14 individual kelp beds, covering nearly 15 acres
- Port Susan Marine Stewardship Area - Completed an assessment to identify high priority parcels for protection and removal of shoreline armoring, and focused outreach efforts to reach shoreline landowners and find those willing to consider alternatives to hard armoring.
- Recreational Crabber Outreach - Social marketing campaign in 2015 focused on recreational crabbers and sustainable crabbing methods
- Beach Watchers - Seventeen Beach Watchers graduated from the 2015 training program and became involved in MRC projects and other local efforts