Friends Notes

CVP Matching Grant Opportunity

5K10K
We need your help!

Friends of Skagit Beaches is one of the funding partners that provides needed financial support for Coastal Volunteer Partnership at Padilla Bay.  Over the past two years (2015 & 2016) we provided $12,000 to support the program that has primarily gone toward funding for our talented Volunteer Coordinator, Samantha Russell, who has done an outstanding job getting this fairly new program off and running.  We need to up the ante and increase our annual donations to this excellent and expanding program. 

In 2017, Friends has a unique opportunity to double our funding to the Coastal Volunteer Partnership at Padilla Bay (CVP) this year.  One of our members has offered to provide up to $5,000 to match donations we receive to support the CVP program with $1 for every $1 donated.This would enable us to increase our funding for this program to $10,000 this year.  To date, we have received $2,967 towards of goal of raising $5,000, which will become $10,000 for CVP with the match from the grant sponsor.  With donations to date, we have received half of the matching grant and are delivering a $5,000 payment to the Padilla Bay Foundation for our 2017 contract to support CVP. We plan to deliver the second $5,000 payment by June 30th assuming we can raise the rest of the donations needed to get the full grant match.

Please help us reach the goal!  Friends is a 501c3 nonprofit and all donations are tax deductible. Here's how to donate (be sure to include a note/memo designating your gift to CVP Matching Grant):

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2017 Lecture Series Breaking Records

2017 Lecture Audience

Friends is in the midst of hosting our annual lecture series that continues to grow in popularity every year. This year the series kicked off with a presentation entitled “Research and Insights on Northwest Coast Humpback, Blue, and Gray Whales and their Incursions into the Salish Sea” by John Calambokidis from Cascadia Research Collective in Olympia, WA. A record of 290 people crowded into the Reid Harbor Room at the Northwest Educational Services District with standing room only and people spilling out into the doorways to catch the presentation. The lecture series team was quite surprised as the prior record was 162 people. Perhaps it’s a widening appreciation of the jokes delivered by our emcee, Matt Kerschbaum . . . on second thought it’s surely the excellent topics and speakers. We are so thankful for the amazing team of volunteers who put together this high-quality learning experience for our community. The lecture series project team is providing a great service for our community, which is obviously well-appreciated.

Coming up:

March 17 – “Sounds in the Salish Sea” presented by Scott Viers, PhD

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March Point Great Blue Herons

March Point Great Blue Herons

By Regan Weeks

In many ways, the Great Blue Heron is the iconic nearshore and tideland species for Skagit County.  They are present year-round, often found hunting little fish in the water or frogs and voles in our fields.  In part because of our many productive estuarine bays (Padilla, Similk, Fidalgo, Skagit) and our temperate climate, great blue herons seem to be more abundant in our part of the Salish Sea than anywhere else on the West Coast.

Herons are colonial nesters, and the March’s Point heron colony (located near the Whitmarsh Landfill) is thought to be one of the largest colonies on the West Coast, easily containing over 500 nests.  An exact count is not easy to get, because while the Skagit Land Trust owns 3.5 acres of the fir forest in which the colony is built, nests are also built on neighboring properties, and the Trust does not have full access. In 2016, T Bailey Inc. worked with Skagit Land Trust to place a conservation easement upon a portion of their property within the current heronry, protecting approximately 5.5 more acres (or a total of 9 contiguous protected acres.

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March Point "Whitmarsh" Landfill Cleanup

March Point "Whitmarsh" Landfill Cleanup
Witmarsh Anacortes Museum
WasteCap1
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Whitmarsh berm
Witmarshchemicalmap

By Betty Carteret

The current cleanup site being addressed under the Anacortes Baywide Cleanup program by the Washington Department of Ecology’s Toxics Cleanup Program (Ecology) is the March Point (aka Whitmarsh) Landfill site.  The site is located on the southwest shore of Padilla Bay in an area that was originally a marsh that was filled in and reinforced with rip rap during installation of the railroad line into Anacortes that now only travels as far as the Tesoro Refinery on March Point.

The landfill site is on the old county highway now South March Point Road, which was the main road into Anacortes and other points on Fidalgo Island until the 1950s. The nearby intersection with East March Point Road was once known as Whitmarsh Junction shown in this 1930s era photo with its tavern and gas station located near the current site of the T Bailey fabrication plant.

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Anacortes Baywide Cleanup Update

Anacortes Baywide Cleanup Update

By Betty Carteret

Washington Department of Ecology in partnership with the Port of Anacortes, City of Anacortes, Samish Indian Nation, Swinomish and other local Tribes, and private landowners is making great progress in cleaning up contaminated shoreline areas in Anacortes along Fidalgo Bay, Padilla Bay, and Guemes Channel.  This cleanup work is bringing new life and energizing the economy of the Anacortes waterfront removing a legacy of toxic contamination from old mills, marinas, and waste sites.

The Anacortes Baywide Cleanup is the project that brings together cleanup work at the following sites under the State’s Puget Sound Initiative.  Projects are funded by a combination of sources including the Puget Sound Initiative, Model Toxics Control Act tax revenue, liable parties (corporations, businesses, governmental agencies, individual landowners), and grants.  Below is a summary of the status of cleanup work at these site and some links to other articles about the work.

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