By Trail Tales Volunteer Coordinator Nancy Olsen
“It takes a village” to restore and protect the Salish Sea and our Skagit shorelines. The Trail Tales program is part of that village for sure, engaging citizens in enjoyable learning activities. But education and outreach must be based on solid science, and monitoring data integrated in the science is important to successful conservation and restoration efforts as well. So, in order to continually update the Trail Tales volunteers with accurate information (and because I am a science-biology nut, anyway!) I shared in the October workshop with many of the teams involved in science and monitoring projects in Fidalgo Bay. Organized by the Skagit Marine Resources Committee and Northwest Straits Foundation staff, the 4-hour workshop held at the Fidalgo Bay RV Park had three main objectives:
- Clarify who is actively monitoring Fidalgo Bay and what questions are being answered;
- Understand what questions remain to be answered about the health of the nearshore* in Fidalgo Bay; and
- Identify how those questions could be answered in order to assist the process of determining the focus for future monitoring work.
This sharing is really vital to the forward progress we make in individual programs and collectively! I came away with new information, clarity and direction and I believe the scientists and committee leads did also. Here are a few of my “take-homes” from the meeting that will become integrated with Trail Tales trainings, programs and presentations: