woman with telescope

Our Volunteers

Volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization. Since our inception in 2016 and building on our long tradition as Island County Beach Watchers, established in 1989 by Don Meehan, we have trained over 800 people in total. These volunteers have contributed countless hours to Sound Water Stewards and our partner organizations, on average about 20,000 hours per year. Our volunteers receive top quality training, each completing at least 100 hours of volunteer training provided by our Volunteer, Education, and Training (VET) Committee. These trained volunteers augment professional scientists which accelerates research while keeping costs down. Community science, education, and stewardship endeavors would not be possible without their dedication of time, skills and talent.

examining a seaweed

Our partners value the high level of training our volunteers receive. Having a detailed knowledge of the ecosystems in which they work is crucial to their operation in the field, from participating in community science projects, educating the public or leading stewardship endeavors.

“Sound Water Stewards are outstanding volunteers who help to drive many of the Island County Marine Resource Committee’s activities. For example, they monitor forage fish, bull kelp, provide support for outreach, and volunteer at restoration events.”

Ann Prusha, Island County
Lighthouse Environmental Plate logo

One of the most enduring parts of training and volunteerism is the community we build with one another. Sound Water Stewards come from all walks of life with a variety of skills and experiences but what binds us together is our love for the nearshore environment. Through our community, we create connections and friendships that last a lifetime, all while working together to preserve this place we are so lucky to call home.

SWS greatly appreciates financial support from Lighthouse Environmental Programs.