Yellow bull kelp in green water

Our Story

Interesting Fact

20,000Volunteers contribute over 20,000 hours each year to various projects. See Our Impact

Caring deeply for our natural environment, while learning together

Sound Water Stewards are trained volunteers working in and around Island County for a healthy, sustainable marine environment through education, science, and stewardship (our mission). Each volunteer commits to a 100 hour training program where they learn all about the Salish Sea marine environment, including the challenges and issues ahead. Simultaneously, they commit to “give back” by contributing a minimum of 100 hours over their first two years in SWS projects and efforts focused on the health of the Salish Sea in and around Island County. Camano and Whidbey Islands each have active memberships that interact within their island community and with the organization as a whole.  

Formerly known as Island County Beach Watchers, Sound Water Stewards became an independent nonprofit organization in 2016. More than 800 community members have been trained since Beach Watchers began in 1989. 

Annually, volunteer members contribute more than 20,000 hours each year in many projects that directly and indirectly benefit our marine environment, educate our fellow community members, and support our organization.

Our vision for a healthy marine environment as defined by diverse natural ecosystems and sustainable human communities focuses our efforts. Volunteer members engage in active projects and in the work of maintaining the organization. We partner with federal and state agencies, governments, universities, state and local parks, and other nonprofit organizations in projects which focus on work in the Salish Sea. At the same time, we are a community of like-minded people who care deeply for our natural environment, and enjoy learning together and socially with one another to celebrate what we have accomplished while continuing to learn how to be better stewards.

citizen science three people