Friends Notes

Trail Tales Grant Renewed!

Trail Tales Grant Renewed!

By Betty Carteret, Friends of Skagit Beaches Board President

The Department of Ecology’s Public Participation Grant program has awarded a two year extension of the Trail Tales project grant to Friends of Skagit Beaches.  The grant extension runs from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2015.  Trail Tales and its volunteers were highly praised by state agency representatives that attended the recent sign dedication.  Ecology’s Lands and Aquatic Lands Section Manager, Barry Rogowski (photo), called Trail Tales “awesome” and expressed his appreciation for our support of Ecology’s Anacortes Baywide Cleanup project. 

In a recent Anacortes American article, grant program manager, Jason Alberich, described Trail Tales as “one of the better programs receiving a Public Participation Grant . . . A second grant of $116,000 has been approved to continue the program because the need is still here and because of the project’s demonstrated success.”  

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Interpretive Signs Dedicated

Interpretive Signs Dedicated

On August 28th, about 50 people gathered on a beautiful summer morning at the Fidalgo Bay Resort to dedicate 15 Trail Tales and 2 DNR Aquatic Reserve Program interpretive along the Tommy Thompson Trail between 34th Street and March Point.  Betty Carteret, Friends of Skagit Beaches President, thanked Gary Robinson, Director of the Anacortes Park & Recreation Department, for their support with the siting and installation of the new signs.  Washington State Legislature Representative Kris Lytton joined Anacortes Mayor Dean Maxwell and Samish Indian Nation Tribal Council member Dave Blackington in cutting the ribbon officially dedicating the signs.

The WA Department of Natural Resources also delivered two new signs to be installed alongside the other Trail Tales signs.  One sign highlights the Fidalgo Bay Aquatic Reserve and the second sign provides information about the shoreline restoration project on March Point that was completed to restore forage fish spawning habitat.  The location of these signs as well as the other 15 Trail Tales signs are shown on a new Trail Tales map brochure HERE.  

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Skagit WSU Beach Watcher Coordintor Position Posted

Skagit WSU Beach Watcher Coordintor Position Posted

Notice from Don McMoran, WSU Skagit County Extension Director.  WSU has posted a position to hire a coordinator for the Skagit County Beach Watcher program.  For more information read the posting below.  Please forward to any individuals you think might be interested in applying for this position. 

Position Description:

Beach Watchers Extension Coordinator, Skagit County Extension in Burlington WA, temp, FT, Admin Professional position.  Responsible for developing curriculum and conducting training on marine, intertidal, nearshore and terrestrial ecology.  Lead and supervise the development, implementation, and annual evaluation of the Beach Watcher marine stewardship education volunteer programs.  Bachelor’s degree in environmental science, or related field and two year progressively responsible administrative/program support work including experience with community volunteer programs or any combination of relevant education and experience.  To apply visit: http://www.wsujobs.com. Screening will begin July 22, 2013.  A position description can be accessed at: http://ext.wsu.edu/careers/ap/. WSU is an EO/AA/ADA educator and employer.

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Students Create Multi-Media "Tales" About Toxic Clean Up Sites

Students Create Multi-Media "Tales" About Toxic Clean Up Sites

By Betty Carteret, Friends of Skagit Beaches Board President

In 1989, the citizens of Washington passed the Model Toxic Control Act (MTCA) with the highest approval rating of any state initiative to date.  This law provides funding for the cleanup of toxic contamination at sites around the state and promotes public involvement in decisions about these cleanup sites.  Funding for these projects comes from taxing the sale of hazardous substances, of which gasoline is the largest source.  One percent of these tax revenues are set aside by this law to fund Ecology’s Public Participation Grant program, which is providing funding for our Trail Tales project and others seeking to increase public awareness and participation in cleanup projects around the state such as the Anacortes Baywide Cleanup project.

Western Washington University students in Huxley College of the Environment’s Science and Management of Contaminated Sites class have created a short documentary about MTCA highlighting several projects, including two in Anacortes: view the video here.   This is the first in a series of films about MTCA cleanup work in Washington.  We have posted a link to this video on our website and encourage you to watch the film. You can also enjoy reading the first volume of their comic book―The Adventures of the Remediators by visit the volume 1 webpage. I think you’ll be just as impressed as I was with the work of these undergraduate students.

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Trail Tales - looking back...and forward

Trail Tales - looking back...and forward

By Betty Carteret, Friends of Skagit Beaches Board President

It's hard to believe the end of our first two-year Public Participation Grant is coming up on June 30th. We've accomplished a lot and WA Ecology has been very pleased with the work we've done. In a recent meeting Ecology shared that they have seen an increase in public participation and more sophistication in the comments submitted during their formal comment periods. Well that's exactly what we were hoping. Our program is a new innovation from the type of projects they've funded in the past and they like it. In addition, this program increases the general literacy of residents about local history and ecology, and creates a personal connection and sense of stewardship in protecting the health of our shoreline and marine ecosystems.

Since June 2011, we've trained over 20 docents who are providing fun and interesting interpretive programs along the Tommy Thompson trail on a variety of topics. Attendance has been great (an average of 22 attendees at our trail walks) and audience feedback shows the docents are doing a great job offering interesting presentations.  Our walks are open to all ages and the trail is handicap accessible.

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Our Mission: Protecting Skagit shorelines and marine waters through education, citizen science, and stewardship. Learn More...

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