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Program Coordinator Position

Position Announcement:          SWS Program Coordinator – Whidbey

Sound Water Stewards of Island County is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded as an independent, nonprofit organization in 2016.  SWS provides and supports opportunities for trained volunteers to engage in education, community outreach, stewardship, and citizen science projects in and around Island County for a healthy, sustainable Puget Sound environment.

Position Summary: SWS is seeking a well-organized and energetic person to work with staff and volunteers to manage and support program events and activities. This is a part-time permanent position for variable hours up to 20 hrs/wk average, (increasing to 25 hrs/wk within one year) including occasional evenings and weekends. The Program Coordinator assists in planning and supporting a variety of volunteer and community events and activities, fostering relationships with volunteers, community members, and partners, and facilitates communication among all staff and members.

 Reports to:  Executive Director

Essential Functions and Duties:  

The Program Coordinator guides and manages the operations of SWS core activities (for Whidbey or Camano island) by:

  • Maintaining rapport and communication with volunteers;
  • Facilitating volunteer involvement in SWS projects;
  • Maintain records relating to project achievements, and program accomplishments
  • Coordinating with partner organizations and Project Leads to train, deploy and support volunteers.
  • Providing direction and support to volunteer
  • Maintaining volunteer records including applications, background checks, and training records.
  • Scheduling and/or facilitating and/or leading meetings and projects as needed.
  • Develop new programs, interpretive materials, or curriculum.
  • Represent SWS and nurture mutually beneficial relationships with community members;
  • Maintain equipment and manage physical inventory and supplies, including managing member access, ordering and purchasing supplies as needed.

The Program Coordinator works with other staff (Program Coordinator on another island) to:

  • Collaborate with partner organizations and community leaders to engage volunteers appropriately in citizen science or education and outreach or stewardship activities;
  • Assess and define options and needs for information technology and data management;
  • Support each other for unified SWS associations and events
  • Design and produce content for visual displays, fliers, and presentations;
  • Maintain the SWS website, social media and online presence and identify social media opportunities
  • Represent SWS in the community, attend meetings as required and serve as liaison to partner organizations or Island County
  • Recruit, retain and recognize volunteers of SWS on each island.

The Program Coordinator works with Executive Director and Board of Directors to:

  • Identify opportunities and managing grants,
  • Help manage key relationships with community leaders, partners, and county staff.
  • Assess and define options and needs for information technology and data management;
  • Resolve issues and concerns
  • Other duties as assigned.           

Working Conditions:  Staff works independently both remotely and in shared office space.  Staff relies on own transportation (with mileage reimbursed as defined in SWS policies)

Wages & Benefits:  Salary range is $18-22/hour; based on candidate qualifications and experience.  Benefits are currently not included for less than full-time classification.

Position Requirements:

  • Proven capacity to prioritize and complete tasks with minimal supervision
  • Strong administrative and organizational skills with attention to detail
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and spoken;
  • Excellent human relations skills; capacity to support positive engagement and team dynamics
  • Ability to take initiative, make sound judgments and appropriate decisions;
  • Demonstrated proficiency with standard office software including Microsoft Office (PowerPoint, Publisher, Excel, Outlook, Word) and Google Business Suite.
  • Proficiency with web-based communication.
  • Candidates with SWS/Beach Watchers/Marine Resources Committee or other local volunteer organizations experience a plus. Must have a valid driver’s license and a vehicle to use for work travel. Travel expenses are covered.
  • Reliable transportation

Preferred / Desirable Qualifications

  • Education or experience in environmental science, education, citizen science, marine biology or other related science.
  • Interpretive background and enthusiasm for communicating science to various audiences.  Knowledge of and experience with volunteer organizations is highly desirable.
  • Experience supervising, managing or working with project teams or individuals.
  • Above-proficient skill level for technology and information/data management and/or computer graphics skills;

To Apply: Email cover letter and resume to

Sound Water Stewards of Island County does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, sex, religion, creed, political belief, national origin, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, height, weight, marital or familial status, or disability.

Executive Director Position 2018

Position Available

Executive Director (Part-Time)

November, 2018

 Sound Water Stewards of Island County is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with over 350 members living and volunteering in Island County.  SWS members are trained volunteers working in and around Island County for a healthy, sustainable Puget Sound environment through education, community outreach, stewardship, and citizen science (SWS mission).  Formerly known as Island County Beach Watchers, this organization was in operation for more than 25 years before becoming an independent, non-profit in 2016.

Job Title: 

Executive Director (part-time, a minimum of 20 hours/week); position may increase to full-time as funding allows.

Reports to: 

The President of the SWS Board of Directors, or designee.

Working Conditions:

The Executive Director will need to work remotely and be accessible to staff on both Whidbey and Camano Island for supervision and support.  The Executive Director will need her/his own transportation.  Mileage will be reimbursed for required travel in the course of work (not including coming/going to/from work). 

Benefits will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.  No benefits are offered for part-time staff working 30 hours/week or less.


Salary range is $25-30/hour.

Pay will be determined based on candidate qualifications and experience.  Required (state/federal) coverage (L&I, Employment Security, Social Security, etc.) and agency insurance costs, including staff liability coverage are paid by SWS in addition to the hourly rate.

Summary of Duties:  

The Executive Director will have overall responsibility to successfully carry out the SWS organizational mission through direction and leadership in planning, service delivery, oversight, evaluation, fundraising (including grant writing), financial management, marketing, volunteer training, and staff supervision.  As long as the position is part-time, specific responsibilities will be negotiated from among the duties below.

 Specific Duties include:

1)   Maintain and oversee outreach and member communications on both islands.

  • Set the tone for the organization, maintain relationships, and facilitate member engagement and support.
  • Provide oversight and support for Sound Water Stewards core programs in collaboration with key committees and coordinators. These include Education and Outreach, Sound Waters University, Volunteer Education and Training, Development, Citizen Science, Communications, Stewardship activities and monthly meetings and ongoing community outreach.

 2)  Collaboratively lead (with appropriate committees, Board, and Staff) efforts to sustain and grow the organization, including grant submissions.

  • Collaborate with the Development Committee to write and submit grants and to plan and seek additional sources of funding support for SWS.
  • Coordinate grant-writing, fundraising events, fundraising campaigns, marketing and communication efforts.
  • Collaborate and communicate with the Board of Directors to plan and develop programs, services, and funding support to carry out our mission throughout Island County.
  • Oversee organizational support to the Board of directors and committees.
  • Make budget recommendations to the Board and maintain necessary financial, tax, and insurance records; keep licenses up to date.

3)  Supervise and effectively manage the paid staff and contractors of the organization.  Recommend to the Board new paid positions as needed (and as funding is available).  Note:  It is expected that volunteer efforts will continue to manage ongoing projects as they are (Sound Waters University, training, MRC projects, etc.).   The Executive Committee serves as the Personnel Committee, including the ED as ex-officio.  In the absence of an Executive Director, or for supervision of the Executive Director, the Board President will assume staffing oversight with the assistance of others as designated.  Current Staff include a Camano Coordinator (24 hours/week) and a Whidbey Coordinator (40 hours/week).

4)  Build and maintain relationships with Island County, regional and state agencies, organizations, schools, and businesses that have an interest in local environmental issues and with the public.  Also:

  • Oversee development and coordination of speaking opportunities at Island County community gathering places such as clubs, churches, and schools, and program efforts in Washington State Parks, using volunteers to the extent possible (with Community Education and Outreach Committee and staff).
  • Ensure a presence in local media, including newspapers and websites.

Experience Requirements:

Executive Director should have a Bachelor’s degree (Master’s preferred) in a field appropriate to the work of the organization.  Successful experience is expected:  in managing people and projects (at least three years’ experience is required).  Successful experience in environmental organization is highly desired.  Evidence of successful budget management, personnel management, web-based technical proficiency, and grant writing experience are required.  Experience working with government agencies and bureaucracies is expected.  Experience working with a Board is highly desired.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Required:

  • Demonstrated collaborative ability in working with people of diverse ages, backgrounds, experiences, interests, and abilities
  • Ability to lead and support volunteer efforts
  • Strong background in environmental work
  • Experience in leadership roles in community based volunteer organizations is highly desired
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Proficient with web-based communications, social media, and computer software
  • Residence in or very near to Island County.
  • Valid WA State Driver’s License and have a vehicle to use for work travel on both islands

Application Procedure:

Interested candidates should submit (in electronic format): 

1)   a cover letter outlining interest in the position,

2)   a resume,

3)   names and contact information (name, phone number, mailing address, and email address) for three references who can speak to specific job responsibility skills and history, and

4)   a successful (funded) grant application written by the candidate (redacted as appropriate).

Please send to:

Screening of candidates will begin as soon as possible and will continue until the position is filled.  Contact Linda Ade Ridder, Board President for more information:; leave VM message at:  360.678.4401.

Sound Water Stewards of Island County

360.678-4401 (leave a message)

PO Box 1225

Coupeville, WA 98239

 Sound Water Stewards are trained volunteers working in and around Island County for a healthy, sustainable Puget Sound environment through education, community outreach, stewardship, and citizen science.  SWS is a non-profit supported by contributions, community partnerships, and grants from Lighthouse Environmental Programs and Puget Sound Energy.  SWS does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, sex, religion, creed, political belief, national origin, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, height, weight, marital or familial status, or disability.

For further information, contact:  Linda Ade Ridder, Board President (above address).


Sound Waters 2016 – a most successful day


History Display – our first 20 years of Sound Waters

Six hundred and forty nine people registered for our 22nd annual ‘one day university for all’ – a daylong conference on all things Puget Sound – held this year at South Whidbey High School on Feb 6 2016.

The keynote speaker,  Dr. Brian Atwater,  spoke about the science and cross-Pacific detective work that went into pinning down the details of the January 1700 Cascadia earthquake and resulting tsunami.  For a wonderful synopsis, see Dan Pedersen’s article from his “Off the Rails” blog.

Prior to the keynote, the annual Jan Holmes Island County Coastal Volunteer Award was given to Sound Water Stewards volunteer, Bob Gentz, who is treasurer for the event planning team, and had to be pulled away from doing tech-support in the classrooms in order to accept the award.

After the keynote, attendees were able to attend three classes from the over 60 offered, and visit more than 60 exhibits.


Clara Beier – co-lead of our Education/Outreach team at our Sound Water Stewards exhibit.

This event is put on every year by a 100% volunteer team of Sound Water Stewards (who put in over 3000 hours to make it happen).

To read more articles about Sound Waters:

You may also

Want to learn more – consider becoming a Sound Water Steward.






BWAC Members – 2015

Advisory Council Members (March 2015 …)

  • Derek Pritchard [i] (W) – President
  • Loran Blankenship [i] (C) – Vice President
  • John Welsch [i] (W) – Treasurer
  • Pam Cooper [i] (C)
  • Bob Gentz [i] (W)
  • John Mathis [i] (C)
  • Joanne McMillan [i] (W)
  • Nicole Luce [i] (W)
  • Charlie Seablom [i] (W)
  • Kes Tautvydas [i] (W)
  • Tom Vos [i] (W)
  • Bill Young [i] (W)
  • Kelly Zupich [i] (W)

Non-voting members:

  • Barbara Bennett – Coordinator
  • Timothy Lawrence – WSU Extension Director


  • (C) – Camano Island
  • (W) – Whidbey Island

home-page: advisory-council