The next person to track an invasive species or monitor the health of vital shoreline habitat is… you!
We train residents of Whatcom County to become community scientists and participate in beach surveys. Community scientists are integral to support important conservation work that underfunded government agencies are often stretched too thin to do. The North Sound Stewards program serves as a hub for community science in Whatcom and Skagit Counties, pairing you up with the best fit for your interests. There are opportunities for every skill set and experience level, from kayaking to data entry to photography.
Volunteer groups led by marine scientists will gather data on sea stars, forage fish (small fish that salmon, sea birds, marine mammals and others rely on for food), intertidal species, and more that will help protect these species’ habitats and longevity. Information collected through community science efforts provides a baseline of data that inform policy, management plans, restoration efforts, cleanups, and other important projects.
Become a North Sound Steward
No matter your level of experience, you can build your skills and help protect vital marine species and habitats. The work you’ll do with North Sound Stewards will directly help salmon, local fisheries, endangered orcas, important scenic and recreational areas, and more to help fill data gaps that wouldn’t otherwise be filled by natural resource agencies. We quite literally couldn’t do it without you. Through this program, we hope to match you with the level of involvement you are looking for — whether you prefer being a social butterfly and checking out a little of each program, or taking on a leadership role and ensuring data is properly collected and managed.
Applications for the 2021 season have closed, but please sign up for updates and to get a reminder about the next season.
Requirements to be a North Sound Steward:
- Must complete 50 hours of trainings and surveys throughout a one-year period. There are several surveys to choose from; details in “Projects” tab. We are currently revising this requirement in light of reduced in-person opportunities due to COVID; We encourage you to apply even if you aren’t sure you can commit to 50 hours during 2021.
- Program participation can reflect your individual interests and skills: Photography, data entry, and event coordination are some options.
- Volunteers of all ages and abilities are welcome to join.
- Children under 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult.