Jan Holmes took WSU Island County Beach Watchers training in 1990 and it inspired her to go back to earn a master’s degree in Marine Biology, She was an amazingly energetic and instrumental volunteer from 1990 until her death in 2011.
She was a founding member of the bio-monitoring program in the early 1990’s, and she and Mary Jo Adams built the extensive EZ-ID website to document, in words and pictures, the amazing variety of species we find in our intertidal zones. Her article, Seashore Players Most Successful When They’re in Their Zone remains a classic. They also established Periwinkle Press to produce laminated card sets for use when sloshing around in the intertidal zone. She loved being out with monitoring teams and no one who was there will ever forget her contagious enthusiasm in uncovering interesting ‘critters’ on the beach
In 2008, she pulled together a team with wide-ranging skills to begin the Eelgrass Monitoring program.
In 2010, she was nominated for the Cox Conserves Hero award, and upon winning, donated her cash award to the organization (now Sound Water Stewards), to be used for improved marine displays at the Coupeville Wharf. In particular, she wanted to tell the story of eelgrass with no words. That has finally come to fruition with the dedication of the new displays this September. Please read Dan Pedersen’s excellent article to learn more.
We lost Jan to illness in late 2011 but you can still hear her excitement in this video …
Jan’s legacy lives on with the Jan Holmes Island County Coastal Volunteer of the Year Award.