Derelict vessel removal map 2023

2023 Accomplishments Report | Northwest Straits Derelict Vessel Removal and Prevention

In 2023, Northwest Straits Commission collaborated with MRCs and tribal partners to focus on removing derelict vessels, with the goal of benefiting the nearshore environment, cultural and treaty rights, and recreation resources. We teamed up with the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Derelict Vessel Removal Program (DVRP) to carry out the removals.

In total thirteen derelict vessel removals are highlighted in our recent report.

Thank you to everyone involved  for your hard work, support, and commitment to the Northwest Straits waterways and environment!

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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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February 2024 NW Straits Commission Meeting

February 23

Whatcom County Civic Building - 322 N Commercial St. Bellingham, WA 98225

More Information
  • Member Spotlight: Judy Surber

  • Olympia oyster restoration in Fidalgo Bay

    Skagit MRC

    This summer, Skagit MRC conducted a bay-wide survey on native oyster populations in Fidalgo Bay, revealing a significant increase from 3 million in 2018 to over 5.5 million in 2023 — a nearly doubled count in five years. The native oysters have not only multiplied but have also expanded beyond shell plot areas, with a notable concentration of 1.2 million Olympia oysters in channels near Sharpe's corner in the south end of the bay, — a surprising discovery.

    Skagit MRC: Restoration of the Olympia Oyster, Ostrea lurida, in Fidalgo Bay Year Twenty-One Report

  • Ocean Research College Academy (ORCA)


    Recently Snohomish MRC partnered with Ocean Research College Academy (ORCA) to explore broader water quality monitoring for Puget Sound. They collaborated to establish a standard quality assurance program, analyzed 2023 data, and plan to analyze past data, contributing to a database for a comprehensive understanding of Possession Sound's health based on student-collected data.

    Learn more at ORCA

  • Plastic Free Salish Sea Contest Winner!

    San Juan MRC

    San Juan MRC, in partnership with the Plastic Free Salish Sea initiative, concluded a successful contest for removing plastic from beaches and roads this fall. Contest winner Heidi Laursen of Orcas Island recorded over 10 hours of removing microplastics and debris from local beaches for the 2023 Plastic Free Salish Sea reporting contest. For her efforts Heidi was rewarded a $100 gift certificate to Friday Harbor House.

    A heartfelt thank you to all beach and road stewards who help to keep our land and seas trash-free, your hard work and support is appreciated! Get involved at

Member Spotlight: Judy Surber

Jefferson MRC

For over 15 years, Judy Surber has served on the Jefferson MRC, bringing a wealth of knowledge on land-use planning and monitoring. Judy was asked to join the MRC when the need for a liaison between the City of Port Townsend and the MRC arose in 2001. Since then she’s spent several years as chair, using her valuable skills in facilitating public process and building consensus.

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Upcoming Events

  • Feb


    February 2024 NW Straits Commission Meeting

    February 23
    10 AM-3 PM

    Meeting materials. 

    Whatcom County Civic Building - 322 N Commercial St. Bellingham, WA 98225

  • Mar


    March 2024 NW Straits Commission Meeting

    March 29
    10 AM-12 PM

  • Apr


    April 2024 NW Straits Commission Meeting

    April 26
    10 AM-12 PM

    Virtual on Zoom