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What’s the Point event includes low-tide walk, beach exploration at Point Whitehorn Marine Reserve

posted Jun 21, 2017, 2:25 PM by Virginia Cleaveland   [ updated Aug 14, 2017, 10:16 AM ]

Annual family-friendly event takes place June 24th at Point Whitehorn Marine Park. 

The community is invited to the annual What’s the Point beach exploration event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 24, at Point Whitehorn Marine Park, 6899 Koehn Rd, Blaine (map). The mid-day low tide is -3.1 feet at 12:05 p.m. RSVP on Facebook.

During the event, naturalists familiar with intertidal creatures and seaweeds, birds, native plants, forest ecology, and local geology will answer questions and lead informal tours along Point Whitehorn Beach, an extraordinary stretch of natural shoreline teeming with wildlife. Children can play a game of naturalist bingo as they hunt for various plants and animals, and explore tidepools with expert storytellers. Naturalists include:
  • Casey Cook of the Marine Life Center, Holly Roger of Wild Whatcom, and Doug Stark of the Whatcom Marine Resources Committee, who will lead kid-friendly tidepool explorations and tell astounding stories about how tidepool creatures live.
  • Marine specialists Bob Lemon, Lynne Givler, Marie Hitchman, and marine biologist Michael Kyte, who will teach people about the plants and animals in the intertidal zone.
  • Geologist Dave Tucker, who will lead field trips to investigate beach and bluff geology. Field trip times will be announced the day of the event.
  • Lyle Anderson of the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve Citizen Stewardship Committee, who will be on the forest trail to the beach teaching people about native plants.
  • Nick Skye with Whatcom Land Trust, who will lead walks to and from the beach explaining the forest ecosystem and how it relates to the beach.
  • The Marine Mammal Stranding Network, which will have a booth with touchable pelts of marine animals.

The trail at Point Whitehorn Marine Park meanders through a forested wetland and is wheelchair accessible for ¾ mile, including viewpoints at the top of the bluff overlooking the beach and the Strait of Georgia. Porta potties are available in the parking lot.

Participants should bring picnic lunches and drinking water, outdoor clothing and sturdy shoes, waterproof sunscreen and bags to pack trash out. Please leave furry friends at home — dogs are not allowed in this county park.

The event is sponsored by Whatcom Land Trust and the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve Citizen Stewardship Committee, in partnership with the Marine Life Center, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Whatcom County Parks & Recreation, and RE Sources for Sustainable Communities.

Directions: Take I-5 Exit 266 and drive west on Grandview Road for 8.5 miles. Follow the road as it curves left and becomes Koehn Road. Continue 1/2 mile to the parking lot on the left.

About Point Whitehorn Marine Reserve and Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve

The 54-acre Point Whitehorn Marine Reserve adjoins the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve and provides habitat for juvenile salmon, Dungeness crab, great blue heron, bald eagles, migrating seabirds and more. Whatcom Land Trust acquired Point Whitehorn in 2007, then transferred the land to Whatcom County Parks & Recreation. Whatcom Land Trust holds a conservation easement over the property, ensuring its protection forever. For more information, visit whatcomlandtrust.org.

The 227-acre Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve is one of several aquatic reserves established by Washington State Department of Natural Resources in an effort to protect state-owned aquatic lands of significant natural value. The Reserve extends from Birch Bay State Park south to the Lummi Nation border, and from the beach into the Strait of Georgia about one half mile. The Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve Citizen Stewardship Committee works to assist DNR in its implementation of the Aquatic Reserve's Management Plan. For more information, visit aquaticreserves.org.

Media contact:
Kim Clarkin, Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve Citizen Stewardship Committee, kimlu55@gmail.com, (360) 393-3238