When you buy this license plate, proceeds benefit SWS and other environmental programs in Island County.
Local knowledge to open your world
We hope the educational information in these webpages sparks your curiosity, appreciation for, and dedication to stewardship for the natural world. Be sure to check out the Marine Species section and the guide book titled Getting to the Water’s Edge, published in 2020 by Sound Water Stewards.
Whenever you walk a beach, it is vitally important to know if the tide is incoming (rising) or outgoing (falling). The tide forecast tools listed below are quite accurate and fun to observe over time and across various locations around the world. The mobile device apps listed here provide detailed predictions based on where you are at the time — whether you are in Island County or somewhere else. Or, you can use these tools to find tides in other locations for future dates to help you plan a trip.
When planning a trip, be aware of the weather forecast and wind conditions. Wind can significantly alter the impact of tides on a beach. Fortunately, you can find the weather forecast inside MyCoastApp.
When you are out on the beach, you may notice trash, please pick it up and bring it to a trash or recycling can. You may notice large debris you cannot move or creosote-coated logs that you should not touch. Please use MyCoastApp to report them to the authorities so removal can be arranged. See details below.
You might be out in a storm and observe coastal flooding due to storm surge or King Tides. Please take pictures and report them also using MyCoastApp. Your data will help researchers better understand the causes and locations of coastal flooding events.
Maps of Island County
- Native-Land: An interactive map of territories, languages and treaties related to indigenous people across North America
- Sites on Whidbey and Camano used by the original inhabitants
- Maps to Island County Parks: North Whidbey, South Whidbey, Camano Island
- Published by NOAA, this nautical chart online of the Salish Sea shows depths in fathoms
- Whidbey Camano Tourism Map
- The map inside Getting to the Water’s Edge guide book
Tide Height & Times
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Tides & Currents is the source of predicted tide heights and times that are published by a wide range of mobile device apps. Numerous mobile apps (free and paid) have converted NOAA predictions into local time and height charts and graphs.
Find tide apps in your app store for apple or android. Some that are popular with Sound Water Stewards include:
Tide Charts – for apple, for android
Tide Graph Pro – for apple, for android
Tide Alert – for apple, for android
MyCoastApp supplies tide and weather forecasts for your location and it allows you to report problems you see (like, abandoned boats, creosote-covered logs, large marine debris) or report unusual events at specific sites, such as storm surge and king tides. Your device can pinpoint the GPS location and then officials can take action based upon your report.
Download the app from your app store.
View your reports online at MyCoast.org/WA
Watch this SWS video to learn how to use MyCoastApp.
MyCoast App Video
Weather: Wind & Barometric Pressure
You probably already know how to find the weather forecast on your mobile device. We offer this tool for finding the wind forecast and seeing the winds on the map of where you are planning to go.
Find this app at your app store for iPhone or android.
NOAA publishes barometric pressure and its impact on water level (tide height) using data from the National Data Buoy Center. For Island County, we select Port Townsend (PTWW1) as the dataset that best represents our area.
Be Whale Wise
Whenever whales are present, it is very important to respect the rules and keep your distance. We all want to see whales up close, but WHALES NEED SPACE.
Stay 300 yards from Southern Resident killer whales and 100 yards from all other marine mammals. Turn off fish finders and echo sounders.
Report a Marine Mammal Stranding
If you find a stranded marine mammal, alive or dead, in Island, Skagit or north Snohomish counties, please call the Central Puget Sound Marine Mammal Stranding Network – 1-800-ORCANET – and follow the prompts to report the animal. Our Network will respond as appropriate, assess the situation, and pass/record the info to researchers and NOAA.
Use the iNaturalist App, and related Seek App, on cell phones or mobile device to identify plants and creatures. Find it at the iPhone App Store or Google Android Play Store.
Oil Spill Reporting
If you see a gas, oil, fuel or chemical spill, immediately call 1-800-OILS-911 (800-645-7911).
- Earth@Home – learn about Earth and its history
- Climate Anxiety & Eco-Grief