So Long, Farewell, and See You Soon!

Joan Schrammeck bio photo 300x300

By Joan Schrammeck, outgoing Camano Coordinator

Dear Stewards,

As 2023 draws to a close and my tenure as Camano Coordinator ends, I want to express my deepest gratitude to ALL of YOU. You inspire me with your daily, weekly, monthly and yearly actions to preserve and enhance the Salish Sea ecosystem. I have learned so much from you individually and collectively.

Here are some things I am most proud of since I started I the fall of 2019.

  • Finding the Murdock Foundation, then writing the grant that made possible the new SWS website to showcase the 30-plus projects led by Stewards in and around Island County. The website is a marvelous resource for learning about marine species, for finding zoom links and dates of meetings, and for recognizing the breadth and depth of Stewards’ impact.
  • Once the new website went live, I led the work to craft the VET curriculum pages to include all class descriptions, speaker bios, class schedules, field trip descriptions and signups, recordings of past classes, and more – all linked from one page. In the shift to digital and zoom, the curriculum webpages strengthened the training consistency and unity across our islands and now serve as a reference and a lasting record of what was covered. IF you haven’t looked before now, I encourage you to see what the 2023 VET Curriculum page holds.
  • Creation of Camano Events Team in late 2022 to craft and host a range of new activities and events to better connect the local Camano Island and Stanwood community to the local beaches and marine life. In 2023, the Team led 8 events that were not done the year before, and 2024 offers more new opportunities including the return of the Snow Goose Festival.
  • I have collaborated closely with Tabitha to provide strong and consistent support to all members and to SWS programs, projects, events and meetings. This was particularly important during the past two years as the organization went through at-times-confusing leadership changes in the roles of Executive Director and Board Officers.

Throughout this time, all community science, education, and stewardship projects moved forward, new projects were added, new events created, new Stewards trained, community connections and strong friendships built.

Since 2019, with a focus on Camano, we added:

  • Lowell Point (CISP area) Bull Kelp monitoring, trained and expanded the team
  • Pigeon Guillemot Surveys on Camano starting with 1 colony and growing to 4 colonies along with training a large team
  • Bluff Erosion monitoring using MyCoast App on both islands
  • Green Crab Molt Search to greatly increase public reporting of possible spread of this dangerous invasive species, trained approximately 65 Stewards to use the protocol
  • Giant Hornet trapping surveys
  • Interpretive Sign maintenance
  • Garry Oak ecosystem restoration activities
  • Know Your Weeds workshop and work party series
  • New (and renewed) outreach and education events and sustainability actions– intended to connect Stewards with the local community and connect the local community with marine habitat preservation – in-person and through Zoom. Actions such as pop-up booths, school field trips, Discover Iverson/Discover CISP, shellfish safety talk, field trips to Leque Restoration area, involvement in SC Give on Giving Tuesday, and so much more including “Baby Salmon Live Here” in 2024.

We continued or enhanced:

  • Forage Fish Eggs surveys with new teams of Stewards, with more Stewards getting training
  • Sound Toxins collection and identification/counting of plankton with more Stewards participating from both islands using Zoom for plankton ID
  • Mussel Watch involving new Stewards at new locations and enjoying the fun of mussel bagging
  • Responding to Marine Mammal strandings including the dead whale that washed up on Camano last winter
  • Intertidal Monitoring adding to the 25 year historical record and training new Stewards each year
  • Beach Cleanups, Camano 101, and expanded Crabber Education beyond one day.

Every day, it has been my delight to support YOU and your engagement in each and every project.

Please let me say THANK YOU once again to all the team Leads for keeping these projects moving forward and to all you participants! SWS is YOU! With YOUR passion and involvement, SWS continues forward momentum.

 [If I left out a project you have been doing, let me know and I will add it.]

I would like to recognize the Hiring Team who put in countless hours to review resumes and do interviews: the hiring team was lead by Gaylen Heacock, and included Cynthia Lahti, Sharon Linton, Jim Husting, Paul Belanger, Tabitha of course. Outstanding job everyone, especially Gaylen!

I’m totally confident, you will love working with Hadley Beahan, your new Camano Coordinator!

Hadley has a background in marine science and special talents for teaching and involving people of all ages – this will greatly benefit our members and our communities.

I plan to stay engaged as a volunteer and be as much help as I can be to Hadley, Tabitha, the Board and you. Please don’t hesitate to call if you have a question you think I might be able to answer, or just call to chat or to make a date to meet for a walk.

I was deeply honored and humbled by your cards, gifts, and remarks at the Camano Holiday Party on December 1. Thank you so much! Thank you Alison I. for the photo.

Looking forward to the next time I see you in person or on Zoom.

I love this: “Do all you can, with what you have, in the time you have, where you are”Nkosi Johnson

And this song lyric by Cris Williamson:

Shine like a star
Do all you can
In the time you have
In the place you are

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