by Kelly Zupich '12
SWS volunteers tried their hand at a new way to try and raise money for our organization. Traditionally, we have had a group of volunteers every year that makes wreath/swags to sell at our Holiday party on Whidbey. This year we were approached to see if we wanted to make a few more and sell them at a Coupeville art show at the Recreation Hall. So our SWS Elves took on the challenge and jumped into action and made 70 beautiful swags. Here are some photos of the team making and selling the swags. Their efforts raised over $675.00 for us! Thank you to all the SWS Elves that helped to make this possible.
Coastal Volunteer of the Year Award Nominations Now Being Accepted
The Island County Marine Resources Committee (MRC), Sound Water Stewards (SWS), and Washington State University (WSU) Extension Island County are pleased to announce the call for nominations for the 2019 Jan Holmes Island County Coastal Volunteer of the Year Award. This award is open to all volunteers, regardless of membership to any one organization or institution, participating in or supporting science and outreach efforts related to protecting or restoring the coastal resources of Island County.
Nominations are requested for any and all individuals who have demonstrated their dedication and involvement in the many services, science and outreach efforts relating to the health of Island County’s marine environment. The objective of this award is to recognize volunteer efforts by selecting and publicly recognizing one who best demonstrates the contribution of all. Any and all volunteer efforts, whether as an individual or as part of a team should be recognized as adding to the collective wellness of the marine environment and the knowledge base of our marine area.
Start now by looking at the individuals with whom you volunteer. Take note of the contributions that they make to the total effort. Are they volunteers you enjoy working with? Are they dedicated, helpful and consistent in their approach and efforts to get the job done?
If so, fill out the Nomination Form and nominate them for this prestigious award.
Nomination forms must be received by 4:30 PM Friday, January 11, 2019.
For more information:
Island County MRC website: http://www.islandcountymrc.org/projects/volunteer-of-the-year/
Link to Nomination Form:
Thank you for your participation.
Anna Toledo: 360-678-2349, firstname.lastname@example.org
by Linda Ade Ridder '05
Photo by Bagus Pangestu from Pexels
Travel with Sound Water Stewards in 2019 and in 2020!
Good news! Our SWS March/April, 2019 trip to Japan with Overseas Adventure Travel completely filled, but we just lost a few travelers, so we have room for up to four more if this interests you?? If we can get at least one more traveler, SWS will receive between $4 and $5K due to our traveling together (at no higher cost to the travelers). This will be the fourth OAT trip taken by Beach Watchers/SWS that will contribute funds back to our group. Two couples had to drop out of the Japan trip leaving space for two more couples or at least one single (contact me directly if you are interested in this trip).
And, now is the time to determine a trip for 2020 as we are hoping to do this annually as one source of income for SWS while simultaneously offering a travel opportunity to our members and friends. Groups like ours get first pick of dates and destinations before they are advertised to the public. If you are interested in traveling with other SWS folks in 2020 in a small group of no more than 16 for a land-based trip or 25 for a ship-based adventure, where would you like to go? I invite you to visit the OAT website to see their many offerings: http://www.oattravel.com and let me know soon what interests you. When I asked a year ago, Africa and Galapagos were high on some people’s lists. Are they still? Or, what about a trip down the Nile, seeing the great pyramids and the ancient treasures of Petra, Jordan? Or, maybe a trip down the Mekong? Or, a river cruise in Europe (with OAT’s parent company Grand Circle)? Or, a small ship cruise in the Greek Isles? Or, a visit to Iceland in winter? So many places to see, so little time! If you would be interested in traveling with SWS folks on any one of these (or other destinations), please let me know what and when!
Let me know ASAP if you are interested in joining us to Japan this next spring, or what entices you for 2020: email me at: email@example.com
Nominations are now being accepted (deadline: Jan 19th) for the 2018 Jan Holmes Island County Coastal Volunteer of the Year Award. The award is named to honor the memory of Jan Holmes, an Island County resident and WSU Island County Beach Watcher who was an exemplary marine scientist, educator and champion for stewardship of the marine environment.
In recognition of the continuing need for volunteers to carry on this important cause, the Jan Holmes Island County Coastal Volunteer of the Year Award is presented annually.
This award is open to all volunteers, regardless of membership to any one organization or institution, participating in or supporting science and outreach efforts that protect or restore the coastal resources of Island County.
The Island County Marine Resources Committee (MRC), Sound Water Stewards (SWS), and Washington State University (WSU) Extension Island County are pleased to open the call for nominations for this prestigious award.
Nomination forms must be received by 4:30 PM Friday, January 19, 2018.
More information and the nomination form can be found at: http://www.islandcountymrc.org/projects/volunteer-of-the-year/
You may also scroll down on that page to view last year’s winner – SWS Volunteer – Connie Clark; if you scroll down to the bottom of the page, there are pictures of all past winners, and links to information about them.
A Power Partnership
Your opportunity to make a positive impact
We are pleased to announce that Sound Water Stewards has been selected as one of 12 local environmental organizations recognized by Puget Sound Energy to support this year. Their financial assistance will help us bring greater visibility to our work in the community, as we further our organization’s mission. And for a limited time, PSE has provided you an opportunity to support the development of new renewable energy in the region, while also providing the means for you to play a vital role in helping fund our efforts. Here’s how it works:
Sign up for one or both of PSE’s renewable energy programs (Green Power and/or Solar Choice); they will donate money to this organization on your behalf. For instance, you can choose to make your home carbon neutral by matching 100% of your electricity usage (an average $10 more per month), or match a portion of your electricity for as little as $4 more per month. Just go to pse.com/enroll, use the code SWS and PSE will donate $20 to our organization (or $30 if you enroll in both programs). All you need to be is a PSE electric customer.
This partnership with PSE provides you the ability to join the combined efforts of your community to create sustainable change that paves the way for positive impacts today and for future generations.
Major step forward at the Coupeville Wharf – the Phase 1 mural was installed Friday, May 6.
photo by Jill Hein
The mural explains how Penn Cove is a mixing bowl for marine life, and how humans have lived near Penn Cove for thousands of years.
Phase2, with a large eelgrass mural is scheduled for this summer. See some of the volunteers at work …
There’s lots of construction going on at the Coupeville Wharf.
Sound Water Steward Dick Johnson removes a wall he installed more than 10 years ago as an Island County Beach Watcher to make way for an updated marine display at the Coupeville wharf.
Coupeville Lions Paul Bigelow (also a Sound Water Steward of Island County), Rick Walti, Joe Hillers and John Roomes prepare the new display wall at the Coupeville Wharf. The wall will host a new, dynamic display about Penn Cove and the marine life that lives here.
The new wall display will be completed in May and includes new huge images of marine mammals next to their skeletons hanging from the ceiling – be sure to look up and all around next time you visit the wharf. They will be followed this summer by addition of a circular eelgrass mural.
The entire display is sponsored by Sound Water Stewards and supported by donations from the Lighthouse Environmental Programs, Town of Coupeville, Coupeville Festival Association, Coupeville Lions, KIRO 7 honoring Jan Holmes, and many individual donations honoring other Island County Beach Watchers.
We are pleased to announce that Sound Water Steward Bob Gentz, class of 2008, has been named the 2016 Jan Holmes Island County Coastal Volunteer of the Year.
See the full announcement at the Island County MRC website (where you can also read about previous winners)
While he is a reluctant winner – he is MOST deserving!
Bob has lived on Whidbey since 2001, and joined our organization in the Beach Watchers class of 2008. He immediately jumped into a wide range of projects. Indoors he is the behind the scenes person who makes sure that everything works – whether it is ‘boring’ financial spreadsheets, or a trip to the Post Office to get stamps, or going out and doing fund-raising. Outdoors he is happy to get wet and dirty.
He has logged more than 9600 hours of volunteer service – across the range of education/outreach (Climate Steward, Sound Waters University, teaching sixth graders about plankton, Ebey’s Landing Docent), citizen science (eelgrass, seining, intertidal monitoring, smolt counts, …..), stewardship (beach cleanup, stream restoration, fishing line recycling, …)
Here are some selected quotes from some of those who helped to nominate Bob for this award.
Bob can’t say “no” when asked to help with a project, which is why he’s such a valuable volunteer. He does an excellent job with ALL of his volunteer commitments, is enthusiastic about them, very dependable, and is always willing to step beyond the ‘asked for’ assistance. – Jill Hein, SWS 2005
Being an avid fisherman, Bob has enthusiastically participated in the Smolt Count in Maxwelton Creek each May for the last 7 years. He has recruited, trained and mentored many volunteers and has always jumped in (literally) to help install, fix and remove the trap. He is always looking for opportunities to improve the process and is a great advocate for our environment. Bob is exceptional in giving his time to the many teams in which he participates – Gregg Ridder, SWS 2005
Bob is the quintessential board member who gets immersed in the details of each organization he works with, especially the finances. He does his homework and is always as or better prepared than everyone else. Bob does what he promises to do and when he promises to do it; he never complains and jumps in to handle many of the tasks that others find tedious and unrewarding. At the same time, Bob loves to get out in the field. Our region in Puget Sound is better off because of Bob’s efforts, both indoors and out. He is most deserving of this award dedicated to Jan Holmes – Linda Ade Ridder, SWS 2005
Bob’s been a very dedicated and knowledgeable member of the beach seining team since 2008. He can be depended upon to consistently be present regardless of the weather, distance, or extenuating circumstances. He works on -many- other teams. He is a tireless volunteer – Jim Somers, SWS 2004
You can easily be fooled by Bob’s low-key, soft spoken, Jimmy Stewart, aw-shucks act, but his steady, day-to-day — talk the talk and walk the walk, force-of-nature deposition speaks volumes. Someone once said, 90% of success is just showing up and Bob shows up, time after time! Always on task, whether it’s keeping an organizations books in perfect order or digging up a field of scotch broom. An inspiration to everyone, could not be prouder to have him on our Whidbey Watershed Stewards board — Rick Baker, Whidbey Watershed Stewards
Bob is always willing to help, no matter what the task. At Goosefoot, besides being the “Numbers Guy”, he is always available to staff an information booth, hand out flyers, promote programs and help with anything and everything that we might be doing – Sandra Whiting, Goosefoot
Bob was my mentor for coastal environmental activities (both in and out of my comfort zone) – it is cold, windy and raining and there is Bob in his waders deploying a seining net – it is a hot, windless day and we are at Miller’s Lake pulling blackberries – it is just after sunrise on a cold, blustery day and there is Bob with freezing hands teaching 6th graders about plankton at the Marina in Langley. He is tireless and dedicated. – Gordon Marvin, SWS 2013
Bob helps fill all the little holes that inevitably arise in any project – whether broad financial/governance issues or little ‘grunt work’ items. He makes my job easier and therefore makes me a more effective volunteer. Multiply this by all the other teams he is part of – it adds up to a tremendous positive impact on our Island County coastal environment – Connie Clark, SWS 2007
Bob is the volunteer who “gets it done”! Ken Urstad, SWS 2005
From tallying financial statements to eelgrass shoots, we thank Bob for his many contributions to the health of our coastal environment!
OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Ecology has approved Island County’s updated shoreline master program.
The updated program will significantly improve the use, restoration and management of development along 210 miles of Puget Sound and freshwater shorelines.
Ecology’s approval completes a five-year process that involved hundreds of people, including shoreline property owners, a science advisory panel, non-profit organizations, tribal governments, and state and local government staff.
“Island County and its residents have taken a unique approach to many parts of their shoreline program,” said Erik Stockdale, Ecology’s regional shorelines program manager. “This program reflects a high level of public involvement and interaction that shows how highly they value their shorelines.”
The county developed a unique set of designations for different categories of shoreline. A key part of this tailors buffers and setbacks on individual properties in response to specific on-site conditions. For example, setbacks are measured from the tops of bluffs, rather than from high tide lines.
The program specifically protects ecologically intact shorelines. It also includes locally developed residential development policies and regulations to protect historic land use patterns in communities on beaches and canals.
Other facets of Island County’s updated shoreline program include:
- Encouraging soft-bank erosion control methods and limits construction of new shoreline armoring.
- A restoration plan showing where and how voluntary improvements in water and upland areas can enhance the local shoreline environment.
- Tailoring unique shoreline setbacks and buffers to each shoreline environment designation.
- Incorporating the county’s critical areas regulations and flood damage prevention code.
- Helping support the broader initiative to protect and restore Puget Sound.
Washington’s 262 cities and counties with regulated shorelines must periodically update their programs, a requirement of the state’s Shoreline Management Act. Island County’s shoreline program now becomes a part of the state’s overall Shoreline Master Program.