A day at the beach in Snohomish County is a day full of possibilities. Sunny summer days bring warmth to sandy stretches of wave-swept shoreline. Fishers pull up Dungeness crabs and fight salmon from the blue depths. Groups of beach combers young and old peer under rocks and seaweed at low tide, looking for living treasures. Gray whales search the soft bottom for shrimp while gulls and terns circle overhead, looking for an easy meal. Yet, this tranquil setting also faces many challenges. Each year, 12,000 crab pots are lost in the Puget Sound and continue to trap and kill more than 129,000 harvestable crabs. Water pollution has closed shoreline to shellfish harvesting, and shoreline armoring limits the available habitat for forage fish – food for salmon.

With all this in mind, the Snohomish County Marine Resources Advisory Committee (MRC) works to address issues affecting the marine environment to continue our ability to access and enjoy the beach and its resources for generations to come.

The MRC, which is part of the nationally recognized Northwest Straits Marine Conservation Initiative, is seeking at least four motivated members to serve as citizen advisors on a committee that addresses local marine issues and recommends action to County Executive Aaron Reardon and the County Council.

The Snohomish County MRC has four main focus areas: education and outreach, Dungeness crab stewardship, marine water quality, and near-shore habitat stewardship. Current projects include water-quality testing, assessment of near-shore sediment transportation, education about derelict crab pots, near-shore restoration at Kayak Point County Park, and support for the Snohomish County Shore Stewards and Beach Watchers programs. Interested parties need not be experts in marine management issues, but are expected to have a willingness to learn about marine conservation, participate in research founded on sound science, and contribute opinions on marine issues during a term that runs through 2012.

The MRC meets in Everett the third Wednesday of every month from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Members volunteer at least 15 hours per month for MRC project planning and implementation. Membership is open to Snohomish County residents or organization representatives. Interested parties representing local governments, recreation, environmental or conservation groups are encouraged to apply. Special consideration will be given to those who can advise on the development of proposed marine stewardship areas and can participate in project planning and implementation.

For more information about the MRC or to apply, go to www.marine.surfacewater.info or contact Kathleen Herrmann, Snohomish County Marine Steward, at 425-388-6414 or kathleen.herrmann@snoco.org.

For more info, visit; http://www1.co.snohomish.wa.us/Departments/Public_Works/Divisions/SWM/Work_Areas/Habitat/Marine/MRC.htm

  • Share/Bookmark