Jefferson MRC's environmental goals guide the work we do and reflects the goals of our parent organization, the Northwest Straits Commission (NWSC). Click any photo to learn more about our projects. East Jefferson County is our project focus area. View a map of our project locations here.

  • All
  • Nearshore Protection & Restoration
  • Education & Outreach
  • Water Quality
  • Marine Species & Habitats

About Our Projects

The Jefferson County MRC implements on-the ground projects to protect and restore the marine environment, coordinates citizen-science monitoring that helps fill data gaps, and encourages local marine stewardship. We focus on nearshore restoration, eelgrass and shellfish protection, Olympia oyster restoration and reducing pollutants that flow into local marine waters.

Our projects support strategic goals of the Northwest Straits Initiative and the Puget Sound Partnership. The MRC develops projects in partnership with local citizens, other local conservation organizations, the City of Port Townsend and Jefferson County. Project updates are provided at our monthly meetings, which are open to the public. Everyone is welcome. View the schedule.

The Northwest Straits Commission provides guidance, scientific expertise and financial resources to the MRCs. The Northwest Straits Foundation also provides support in the form of additional grant funding, project management and regional collaborations. Our projects are funded by grants, in-kind support and donations from key partners and other sources.

View a map of our project locations.

Nearshore Protection & Restoration

The nearshore extends from the top of our coastal bluffs seaward to the offshore limit of the photic zone where light can no longer penetrate the water column and support aquatic vegetation. Nearshore habitats include coastal bluffs, beaches, tide flats, eelgrass beds, kelp forests and rocky reefs. These habitats are critical to the survival of salmon, rockfish, herring, crab, shrimp, birds and other marine mammals.

We collaborate with others to restore nearshore habitats and natural processes and educate landowners on best shoreline stewardship practices, including the  Northwest Straits Foundation's Shoreline Landowners Program and Beach & Nearshore Restoration Programs.

Education & Outreach

The MRC promotes a local stewardship ethic because healthy marine habitats depend on the local community’s commitment to make it happen. Marine stewardship begins with an understanding of current issues, challenges and possible solutions. We hope knowledge will lead to action by pairing education with information about best practices, resulting in healthier bays, beaches and watersheds. Puget Sound really does “Start Here”.

The Northwest Straits Foundation offers great information and several incentive programs such as free site visits to help educate shoreline landowners about erosion & drainage issues, riparian vegetation, potential armor removal and soft-shore stabilization options.

Marine Species

Jefferson County is fortunate to have a number of conservation and environmental organizations committed to working together and focusing on different priority habitats and species. Our Resources Page lists many of these. The MRC is particularly interested in Olympia oysters, forage fish (surf smelt and Pacific sand lance), eelgrass and bull kelp. We coordinate citizen-science monitoring programs to learn more about local populations of these marine species and sponsor projects that benefit these species and their habitats.

Water Quality

Rain running off driveways and roads flows into storm drains that discharge to local streams and bays. This stormwater carries pollutants and contaminants such as heavy metals, fertilizers, oil and pet waste. The MRC works to reduce these contaminants by installing rain gardens with community partners—rain gardens that are specifically designed to reduce runoff and remove contaminants before they reach our bays.