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April 7, 2017: RE Sources, Whatcom MRC launch North Sound Stewards program to train volunteer citizen scientists

posted Apr 7, 2017, 1:44 PM by Virginia Cleaveland   [ updated Apr 7, 2017, 1:44 PM ]

Free trainings give program participants tools to participate in variety of beach surveys and play an important role in protecting marine resources.


This spring, RE Sources for Sustainable Communities and the Whatcom County Marine Resources Committee (MRC) are launching a comprehensive North Sound Stewards volunteer program that will train participants to become citizen scientists and play an important role in protecting our marine resources.

The program is in partnership with the Northwest Straits Initiative, the Northwest Straits Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, and the Cherry Point and Fidalgo Bay Aquatic Reserves Citizen Stewardship Committees.

The program offers a variety of citizen science opportunities, including intertidal surveys, forage fish surveys, and sea star wasting syndrome surveys. Participants can also connect with other nonprofits and government agencies to receive additional trainings and participate in green crab surveys and ocean acidification surveys, among other opportunities.

“North Sound Stewards connects a group of people passionate about protecting the North Puget Sound,” said Eleanor Hines, program manager and lead scientist at RE Sources for Sustainable Communities. “The information we collect provides a baseline of data that informs policy, restoration efforts, cleanups, and more. Citizen scientists are integral to support important work that underfunded agencies cannot do themselves.”

The program requires 50 hours of trainings and surveys throughout a one-year period. Program participation can reflect individual skills, from the actual survey work to photography, data entry or event coordination. Volunteers of all ages and abilities are welcome; children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Upcoming intertidal survey trainings (participation in one of two trainings is required):
  • Whatcom County: 12:00 - 4:30 PM, Saturday, April 29th, Heron Center, Birch Bay State Park, 7290 Birch Bay Dr, Blaine.
  • Skagit County: 12:00 - 4:30 PM, Sunday, April 30th, Interpretive Center, Padilla Bay Reserve, 10441 Bayview Edison Rd, Mount Vernon.
For more information about North Sound Stewards, visit re-sources.org/north-sound-stewards. To sign up for the program, click the “Register Today” button. Questions? Contact Eleanor Hines at eleanorh@re-sources.org or 360-733-8307 ext. 213.

Media Contact: Eleanor Hines, Lead Scientist, eleanorh@re-sources.org, 360-733-8307 ext. 213

RE Sources for Sustainable Communities is a local nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the health of Northwest Washington’s people and ecosystems through the application of science, education, advocacy, and action. For more information, visit re-sources.org.

The Whatcom County Marine Resources Committee (MRC) is one of seven citizen-based committees in the Northwest Straits region to address marine issues. The purpose is to guide local communities, using up-to-date information and scientific expertise, to achieve the important goals of resource conservation and habitat protection within the Northwest Straits. For more information, visit mrc.whatcomcounty.org.