NW Straits Commission staff Lucas Hart, Dana Oster and former Island MRC member Elsa Schwartz ready to meet with Sen. Patty Murray.
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Puget Sound Day on the Hill 2024

The Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission and Puget Sound Partnership led another successful Puget Sound Day on the Hill in May. Among the priorities at this year’s Day on the Hill was reauthorization of the Northwest Straits Initiative. Meetings were held with the Washington State delegation to share the wonderful work of Marine Resources Committees and our many regional partnerships. A big thank you to Senator Patty Murray and Representative Rick Larsen for their leadership on a reauthorization bill that will ensure the continuation of the important work of the MRCs.

Did you know? Rep. Rick Larsen was a former Snohomish County MRC member in the early days of the Northwest Straits Commission.

Learn more about reauthorization and the future of the Initiative at our Looking Ahead webpage.

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 »

June 2024 NW Straits Commission Meeting

June 28

  • Natasha Cuomo
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    Member Spotlight: Natasha Cuomo

  • Olympia oyster restoration

    Clallam MRC recently completed the next phase of their work at their 2024 Olympia oyster restoration site in Sequim Bay, a collaborative effort between Clallam MRC and the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe.

    In early May, the MRC conducted a comprehensive survey of the Olympia oyster population to understand the size and number of oysters in the habitat. This data is crucial for assessing the progress of our restoration efforts and planning future initiatives.

    In late May with the dedicated assistance of a Washington Conservation Corps crew, the MRC successfully spread 47 tons of Pacific oyster shell across the habitat. The shell, distributed in over 3,000 bags placed by barge earlier in the year, provides essential surfaces for young Olympia oysters to settle and grow.

    The team of MRC staff and volunteers persevered through both rain and shine to ensure the success of this project. They are hopeful that their efforts will lead to a thriving population of young oysters in 2024, contributing to the health and biodiversity of Sequim Bay.

    Thank you to everyone involved in this restoration work. We look forward to seeing more of the positive outcomes of this project in the coming year!

    Learn more about Olympia oyster restoration

  • Friday Harbor Open House

    San Juan MRC recently participated in the annual open house at Friday Harbor Labs in late May. This event provided an opportunity for MRC members and staff to engage with the public and discuss the vital work they do and its connection to the marine science conducted at the labs.

    The open house was big success. The MRC enjoyed a beautiful afternoon interacting with the community, sharing stories about their efforts, and answering questions from curious attendees. They also took the opportunity to distribute whale warning flags and stickers, raising awareness about marine conservation efforts.

    With the summer outreach season just beginning, we're excited to announce that the San Juan MRC is finalizing the schedule for upcoming dock talks. These talks will provide further opportunities for community engagement and education about our marine environment. Stay tuned for more details, and we look forward to seeing you at future events!

    Learn more about Education and Outreach

  • Kids on the Beach

    Skagit MRC created the Kids on the Beach program in 2018, combining classroom learning with fieldwork, fostering a deeper connection to the environment. The program is now administered by staff from Padilla Bay Reserve, where its success has influenced other educational initiatives, highlighting its significant role in marine science education.

    This spring, 250 students from three local schools (Concrete10-11th graders, Everson Elementary 4th graders, and Allen Elementary 5thgraders) engaged in the Kids on the Beach program, a hands-on science initiative at Bayview State Park. Under the guidance of volunteers from Skagit MRC, WSU Beach Watchers, Salish Sea Stewards, AmeriCorps and staff from Padilla Bay Reserve and the NW Straits Commission, students are guided in their data collection and other learning activities, exploring biodiversity and intertidal life.

    Learn more about Kids on the Beach

    Kids reach into the mud with beach science program
    Skagit Valley Herald | May 23, 2024

Member Spotlight: Natasha Cuomo

Snohomish MRC

Natasha Cuomo was inspired to help restore and protect the environment after moving here from Macedonia and seeing the wealth of marine resources in the Pacific Northwest. She is a restoration ecologist representing the Tulalip Tribes on the Snohomish MRC. Her specialty is in restoring salmon habitat, especially Chinook and coho in estuaries and rivers.

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Upcoming Events

  • Jun

    28

    June 2024 NW Straits Commission Meeting

    Friday
    June 28
    10 AM-12 PM

    Zoom Link

  • Jul

    26

    July 2024 NW Straits Commission Meeting

    Friday
    July 26
    10 AM-3 PM

    Red Cedar Hall - 1033 Old Blyn Hwy, Sequim, WA, 98382

  • Aug

    23

    August 2024 NW Straits Commission Meeting

    Friday
    August 23
    10 AM-12 PM

    Virtual on Zoom