Puget Sound Innovation Stories

Salish Sea Stewards

Skagit County Marine Resources Committee (MRC) established the Salish Sea Stewards program to engage residents in marine monitoring, restoration, and outreach projects. Volunteers receive professional training by local experts in nearshore ecology and a variety of monitoring protocols. After completing training, participants commit to contributing at least 50 hours on local citizen science projects.

The project began with a pilot season in 2014, and trained its latest cohort of 28 volunteers in 2019. To date, more than 170 volunteers have completed the program, contributing an estimated 28,000 volunteer hours in the community on projects, such as monitoring for invasive green crab; surveys for bull kelp; and bait fish spawning, beach naturalist educator training, intertidal monitoring, and native vegetation planting and maintenance.

A program modeled after this one is now being developed by the Whatcom County Marine Resources Committee, another of the seven MRCs that are part of the Northwest Straits Initiative.

Funding Sources:

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Skagit County Marine Resources Committee
  • Padilla Bay Foundation
  • Washington State Department of Ecology
  • Friends of Skagit Beaches
  • Skagit County Clean Water Program
  • In-kind volunteer time

Congressional District: 2


  • Skagit County
  • Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
  • Padilla Bay Foundation
  • Coastal Volunteer Partnership
  • Friends of Skagit Beaches
  • Skagit County Clean Water Program

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More Info

Publish Date: April 20, 2017
Category: Programs
Congressional Districts: Congressional Dist. 2
Counties: Skagit
Habitat Types: Nearshore | Puget Sound
Restoration Focuses: Forage Fish
Key Benefits: Community Engagement