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Friends Notes

Keep up to date with news from Friends of Skagit Beaches

Skagit Plastic Waste Reduction & Recycling Project

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(pictured right: FOSB Plastic Interpretive Display rolled out at Fidalgo Shoreline Academy)

Friends of Skagit Beaches -  with support from Skagit County Solid Waste Division and Padilla Bay NERR Education staff - has undertaken a new project to provide education and outreach to residents of Skagit County to reduce single-use plastics that can find their way into our waterways and become marine debris, a major issue threatening our bays and oceans.

A second goal of the project is to educate local communities about changes to plastic waste recycling requirements. As some of our readers may be aware, China is no longer accepting plastics for recycling from the United States and other countries due to the high percentage of “contamination” of the waste stream. This is not contamination of the sort you might expect, it’s really an issue of the plastic being collected containing a high-percentage of non-recyclable plastic waste. This has significantly impacted the viability of plastic recycling and changed the requirements for the types of plastic that can be accepted into the recycling stream. We are calling this part of our project a Skagit County plastic recycling “reboot” to convey that we all need to relearn what plastics can and cannot be recycled.

Friends recently received a grant from the WA Department of Ecology to support rolling out this program in Skagit County. Board member, Betty Carteret, who drafted the proposal, will manage the project. We are just getting started and recruiting volunteers to help make it a success. Friends has contracted with Joan Drinkwin of Natural Resources Consultants to lead the project and coordinate volunteer activities.

Some of you may know Joan from her work with the Skagit MRC’s Salish Sea Stewards Volunteer Program this year. She is working with Callie Martin, Skagit County Waste Reduction and Recycling Educator, to develop a full-day training program for the volunteers to learn details about issues with marine debris and single-use plastics, changes in the plastic recycling market and requirements, and alternatives to single-use plastics. Additional training will be offered to hone outreach and communication skills so our volunteers can effectively foster plastic waste reduction and proper plastic recycling in Skagit County.

Volunteers will be asked to contribute a minimum of 10 hours of volunteer time in exchange for this training program.


If you’re passionate about doing something about marine debris and plastics in our environment, we hope you’ll join the team. For more information or to sign up for the training, please contact Joan Drinkwin via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. In upcoming editions of the Friends’ newsletter look for articles about the project as our volunteers get to work in the community and what you can do to help solve the problem with plastics polluting our environment.

Fidalgo Shoreline Academy is a wrap!

Thank you to everyone who helped make this year's Academy a great success. We had a great line up of presenters and exhibitors, wonderful volunteers and over 85 attendees who enjoyed the day of learning

Check out the Fidalgo Shoreline Academy write-up in the Skagit Valley Herald

Membership Drive with Board members Barb and Gina

barb and gina

 Registration with Rachel and Brad

brad and rachel registration

 

Jude Apple's Keynote Address on Blue Carbon was great!

jude presentation

  

Shannon came to share more information on the
Swinomish Department of Environmental Protection

shannon and swinomish

 

Thank you Skagit Conservation District for spending the day with us!

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Friends of Skagit Beaches new Plastics Interpretive Station

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Karen and friends enjoy lunch

karen and friends

 

Todd McLeish shares some great stories about our coastal sea otters

todd mcl presentation

Citizen Science: Pacific Oysters

img 0623Jennifer Selvig and Wayne Huseby went out to the end of Weaverling Spit to retrieve half of the "shell stacks" that they had deployed in late May. 

The "shell stacks", made up of 11 Pacific oyster shells, provide an appropriate substrate for native oyster larvae to deposit themselves. The stacks will be sent to the labs in Olympia to be viewed under a microscope for evidence of native oyster "spat". The remaining half of the stacks will be collected in late May of 2019 or one year from initial deployment. A new set of "shell stacks" will be deployed at that time.

A great way for citizen scientists to help with important research on this once abundant mollusk!

2019 Membership Drive Kicks Off

Friends of Skagit Beaches has kicked off our 2019 Membership Donation Drive!

Once again, FOSB Board member, Gina Johnson, has put together a wonderful series of raffle prizes for new or renewing members who sign up by January 7, 2019. We will draw the winning member names at the Annual Meeting and member potluck on January 17, 2019.

There are many reasons to support Friends of Skagit Beaches and this raffle is something we do in appreciation for all our members who help us over the year. To join online or download a membership form - click here

Two sets of prizes:

From Seabear - Smoke salmon gift boxes

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From Island Adventures - Whale watching excursions for 2 people

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 Thank you to Island Adventures and Seabear for supporting our efforts!

Salish Sea Steward Class of 2018

class of 2018

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The Salish Sea Stewards Class of 2018 completed their training on Tuesday, May 22. Twenty-five eager and engaged community members completed the ten-week course, which included hands-on training in forage fish spawning monitoring, intertidal monitoring, and crabber outreach. Many regional experts gave their time to the class, presenting on a variety of important topics, such as ocean acidification, the importance of citizen science, and tribal treaty rights. The training included field time at Bowman Bay, the shoreline of Fidalgo Bay and the mudflats of Padilla Bay.

 

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 The new Salish Sea Stewards have committed to give back to the Salish Sea 50 hours of their time over the next year. Programs needing volunteers were highlighted throughout the trainings and class participants have already signed up for many that interest them. Many have already started volunteering at intertidal monitoring, heron monitoring, and education events for school children. When these Salish Stewards complete their volunteering in twelve months, the Salish Sea will have benefitted from a whopping 1,250 hours of dedicated volunteer energy!