By Regan Weeks
Do you remember the mighty 120-foot derelict tug, the Enchantress, that sunk in the mud off of the east end of 34th St in the early 2000s? Here is her lurid tale!
Plastic waste polluting or marine environments is a major issue that is damaging habitat and wildlife in Skagit County and around the world. One of the sources, monofilament fishing line, is a focus area that CVP volunteers are helping to address. Recycling tubes such as the one shown installed at Heart Lake in Anacortes have been placed at 22 popular fishing locations in our area from Bowman Bay to the Marblemount Fish Hatchery.
The project started by the Skagit Beach Watcher volunteer, Don Coleman, is being carried forward under the leadership of CVP volunteers Dick Kent and Glenda Alm – thanks for taking over the lead! Friends continues to provide funding to covers costs of the hardware and labeling of the equipment.
An Afternoon to Remember - by Pete Haase
Friday June 2, 2017 was an afternoon many of us will remember for a long time. Nineteen youngsters and some parents from the mixed 1 – 2 – 3 grade class taught by Abigail Ross at Anacortes Island View Elementary hopped out of a bus at 12:30 at the Fidalgo Bay Resort on a promise that they could go do surveys for surf smelt eggs. A dozen of us big guy volunteers stood there as ready as we felt possible, wondering what we were in for.
Friends of Skagit Beaches volunteers, Barbara Lechner and Michelle Marquardt, have developed a very popular interactive forage fish interpretive station and now expanded that into a program for Junior Ecologists (ages 5 – 9). Through the use of slides, props and participation, children have a fun experience learning about forage fish - what forage fish are, why forage fish are so important, who eats forage fish, and what makes a healthy beach for Surf Smelt egg spawning. The program is concluded with a forage fish song sing-a-long and coloring pages reinforcing the information. This type of interactive learning helps students develop a personal connection to our marine environment, which we believe helps to foster a life-long commitment to environmental stewardship.
On May 31, the program was presented to a class at Island View Elementary to prepare them to search for surf smelt eggs on the beach (see more about this in the article below.)
And it’s not just for kids . . . Throughout the summer and early fall the Forage Fish Interpretation station will be going out on the beach during forage fish egg surveys (weather permitting). Watch for us out on the shores of Fidalgo Bay and Bowman Bay.
National Estuaries Day – Discovery Passport: we need help pulling together information and getting our Discovery Passports updated, printed and assembled for the August 12th event that will be part of Fidalgo Bay Day.
National Estuaries Day – Passport Station: we need a few volunteers to sign up for shifts to work at our information table and hand out passports and prizes and answer questions about the activity.