Sunday, March 28, 2010

San Juan Nature Institute Workshops

San Juan Nature Institute is offering the following workshops. Registration is requested. You may register on line at; by email to or by calling 378-3646

April 17: Lichens on Lopez.
10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Instructor Dr Fred Rhoades.
An introduction to lichens will be given in the science lab at Lopez High School after which participants will carpool to Pt Colville for a brown bag lunch and field studies. We will return to the school by 4:30 p.m. Cost per person is $40. Copies of Dr Rhoades’ book Lichens of Lopez will be on sale for $15 each and this book is recommended reference for this course and further study of this important element of our island ecosystems. San Juan Nature Institute is an approved provider of clock hours and 5.5 educator hours are available for this workshop. In view of the sensitive nature of the area, we are limiting this workshop to 10 participants. Please register as soon as possible to guarantee your place.
Participants should bring clothing suitable for outdoor field work, a brown bag lunch and hand lens. Lenses will be available for sale at the class.
Special offer: If we fill the workshop, we offer the opportunity to join the class for Dr Rhoades’ Introduction to Lichens at a cost of $10 per person.

May 2: Geology of Sucia.
9:30-3:30p.m. Instructor: Michael Yeaman.
This workshop is to be held in conjunction with Sustainable San Juans Conference May 1, at the Village Green on Orcas but is open to anyone interested.
The class will convene at Enzo’s Coffee Bar for a brief overview before carpooling to the ‘Ditch’ to board our transport to the island. Michael will lead a hike to the Protection Formation and return to the dock for a light lunch at 1 p.m. After a short guided walk around the dock area, we will return to Orcas at about 3:30 p.m. Cost per participant is $45 which covers lunch and transport. Participants should wear clothing suitable for travel in an open boat and for a hike.

May 8: Ethnobotany and Edibles
11:30 -4 p.m. Instructor MacClellan (Mac) Smith
Participants will gather at Churchill House, San Juan Preservation Trust Offices, at 11:30 and carpool to a Westside property under SJPT care. Mac will lead a walk discussing medicinal, edible and other useful plants as he goes. This informal walk and talk will end with a Douglas Fir tea and nibbles prepared by Market Chef before we carpool back to town to catch ferries home. The timing of the class enables participants to come from other islands and to return home at a convenient time. Cost per delegate is $40 which includes the refreshments.

June 20: Biodiversity of Watmough Bay:
10:30-4 p.m. Lead by scientists from Kwiaht.
Join scientists from Kwiaht in exploring the biology of Watmough Bay, Lopez Island. Participants from San Juan and Orcas Islands will arrive on the morning ferry and drive to meet Russel Barsh and his colleagues at the Land Bank Reserve at Watmough Bay. SJNI will coordinate carpools from each island. We will join in a beach seine, explore a freshwater habitat and enjoy a scenic walk before returning to catch the ferry at about 3:50 (ferry schedule for that day is not available at present). Cost per participant is $40. Please bring clothes suitable for a day outdoors, a brown bag lunch and water. Boots for the wet work would be an advantage.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Story of "Stuff"

Recently my family and I moved from our home of 16 1/2 years. We are truly amazed at how much 'stuff' we aquired over that time. Since we were moving to our summer home that is already furnished, we had to go through every item in our house and determine its destination. Do we throw it away, give it away, put it in storage, move it to the new home? We did a lot of each of those things and we are still trying to find places for everything we have kept. I don't consider ourselves packrats or collectors, but have discovered through this process that over the years we have been active consumers. I was mentioning this experience to Joe Gaydos of SeaDoc Society and he sent me a video called the 'story of stuff'. I am sending the link to you in hopes that you will take some time to watch it. It is 20 minutes long, but well worth it. So, I hope you make yourself a cup of tea or coffee and take a break to view it. Please pass it along.

Microplastics lecture and refresher/training

Hello Beach Watchers,

Please join us.Monday, March 22nd @ 1pm Jen Kingfisher of Port Townsend Marine Science Center will be coming to the Orcas public school to dissect an albatross bolus with the students in Laura Tidwell's class and give a lecture on Marine Plastics Pollution. The class room is in the bldg. to the left of the East facing high school entrance. Look for a sign on the door.At 2:30-4:15 Jen will meet at the Indian Island beach/ Land Bank Park Beach, for a site sample refresher/training.This is a valuable, ongoing, long term data collecting project and we would love your participation at either or both sites.

If you have questions, please contact Kim Secunda at 376-2510 or

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Citizen Science Summit on Plastics Pollution in the Salish Sea

Friday & Saturday, May 14-15, 2010 Fort Worden, Port Townsend

Hello Beach Sampling Partners! Have you been wondering what ever became of the plastic debris samples you gathered from your beaches?

The team at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center invites you to find out at the Citizen Science Summit on Plastics Pollution in the Salish Sea.

All plastics projects volunteers are welcome to join us for free, including all meals and accommodations. For those of you who are not plastics project volunteers, but would like to participate, we ask that you pay a $50 registration fee.

The Summit:

The Citizen Science Summit on Plastics Pollution in the Salish Sea will begin Friday evening with dinner and conversation with Dr. Joel Baker, Science Director for the UW Center for Urban Waters. Dr. Baker’s researches on pollutant transport and fate in natural waters with a focus on the accumulation of chemicals in aquatic food webs. Saturday’s agenda will feature an in depth look at the data collected by PTMSC and our partner groups, as well as a discussion on Citizen Science in the Salish Sea.


We are very fortunate to have generous sponsors for this Summit who are making it possible for you to attend at no cost. All meals and lodging are included. What we need is you commitment to join us and together we will follow up on the hard work we have done sampling our beaches. We expect to fill up quickly so please register by April 16th to assure your space is reserved.

Please join us for our plastics summit May 14th and 15th! Free registration (including accommodations and meals) to all samplers. Find out where the data you have collected is going!

Register by clicking here

Friday, March 12, 2010

Climate Change Science and Potential Impacts on the Pacific Northwest

The Crossroads Spring 2010 series presents Nathan Mantua at the Orcas Center this Sunday, March 14 at 2:00pm.
Is the earth's climate really changing? Have scientists overstated, or understated the risks that increased concentrations of greenhouse gases pose to the Earth's climate system? Nathan Mantua will provide an overview of climate change science that includes the latest data and thinking on the human and natural contributions to global climate change. He will conclude with a discussion of projected impacts of human-caused climate change on natural resources in the Pacific NW.

Tickets are available at the Library and Darvill's for $10. A limited number of complimentary tickets are available in advance through the Library and the Senior Center.

MISM progam ends due to funding cuts

The Marine Invasive Species Monitoring program has ended due to funding cuts by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Unfortunately, the threat to Puget Sound by invasive species is still very real. Hopefully you will continue monitoring our precious beaches. I have a few updated MISM booklets that will aid you in continuing to monitor on your own. Please contact me if you would like one.



Wild Salmon Need Your Help

Wild's mission is to restore the salmon and steelhead runs in the Pacific Northwest. Currently, they are trying to get Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke to reduce the number of dams on the Snake and Columbia Rivers and to not build four new dams on the Snake. Fewer than 1 million fish return to these rivers now. Wild would like you to write Secretary Locke as well as Senators Murray and Cantwell to champion the removal of four low volume dams that scientists believe greatly impede these fish. Please log onto: and click on how you can help. You can also email Joseph Bogaard at for more information.

Say You Want to Hike Mt. Constitution Today but

You don't know if it will rain or if it is raining, will it fall on you! Here's your real time rain tracker courtesy of the U of W Atmospheric Science Department. Click on: Then click on the tab "Products" to get to the actual rain radar. Have fun and stay dry!

Making Something Good - Walking the Green Talk

Val Veir's class at Colorado College developed this website to help people understand climate change and reduce their carbon footprint by changing their lifestyle. It is full of helpful ideas on how to achieve a healthier climate and planet. Click on

Thursday, March 11, 2010

New Indian Island Website

Please check out the fabulous new Indian Island Website that 'our very own' 2008 Beach Watcher, Quinn Freedman has designed. It includes: ID guides, a photo gallery, tidepool etiquette, Oh My! Biology...and much more. Thank you Quinn!!