The Marine Resources Committee (MRC) is an advisory group to the Board of County Commissioners. MRC members are citizen volunteers committed to protecting and restoring marine habitats in our ecologically rich corner of the world.

Searching for Seaweed Beach Walk
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MRC works closely with community volunteers and partner organizations.

Seeking New MRC Members

The Jefferson MRC currently has openings for the following volunteer positions: 

  • District 1 Rep & Alternate 
  • Environmental Interests & Alternate
  • Commercial (Economic) Interests & Alternate

The MRC advises the Board of Commissioners on issues related to the marine resources of East Jefferson County and sponsors projects that reflect local priorities.

Applicants should have demonstrated interest, experience and/or affiliation with marine and shoreline-related activities, organizations or businesses. The following are of particular interest: familiarity with water quality issues, communication skills, maritime trades or marine-related businesses, restoration/conservation practitioner experience or education focus.

For more information, see the Vacancy Announcement, explore this website or contact Jeff.co.mrc@gmail.com. Applicants must submit a letter of interest and an MRC Application Form.  Positions are open until filled. For more info, contact Cheryl Lowe (cheryl.lowe@wsu.edu or 360-379-5610 x 230.)  Selection Committee will begin reviewing applications for the above positions on Sept. 30, 2019.

 

Troy McKelvey and Gordon King with one of the cleaned buoys.

Protecting Eelgrass Beds

Jefferson MRC maintains navigation buoys in three local bays to mark Voluntary No-anchor Zones. These no-anchor zones protect eelgrass and shellfish beds from boat damage by encouraging boats to anchor outside the eelgrass beds so anchor chains don't drag through the eelgrass. 

This year in Port Hadlock Bay, maintenance included scraping off several years of accumulated shellfish and other ‘fouling” that weighs down the buoys. Thanks to Troy McKelvey and Gordon King for al their work!

See below for what we found how much higher the buoys float when cleaned!

Buoy weighted down by this accumulated marine life.
Buoy after cleaning is much easier for boats to see!
MRC member Frank Handler at the Quilcene Bay monitoring site.

Olympia Oyster Monitoring

On the early August low tides, 10 volunteers joined the Jefferson MRC and WDFW to monitor the MRC's Olympia oyster project sites in Quilcene Bay and Discovery Bay. We're still processing the data, but have two preliminary general conclusions: 

  • Our native oyster is doing well in Discovery Bay  and we should continue enhancement efforts there.
  • This year brought confirmation that the particular location of our Quilcene Bay test plots is not suitable for more Olympia oyster efforts and we'll start looking for other options in that Bay.

Many thanks to dedicated Beach Naturalist volunteers who helped MRC members with this monitoring! 

Catch More Crab--Reduce Derelict Gear!

We kicked off the crabbing season with two free crabber education programs in late June. Almost 60 people attended these programs, learning from experts like DFW expert Rich Childers and MRC member Troy McKelvey about crab life history, regulations and about how to rig their crab pots so they won't be lost. Missed the class? Learn more and enter a raffle to win prizes at the Northwest Straits Foundation Derelict Gear webpage. 

MRC members are now making plans to be at a few the boat ramps and stocking info rack cards at retail outlets and in new crab pots.  Thanks so much to Jackie Gardner for coordinating this effort!