Photo by Cheryl Lowe
Citizen Science Monitoring

Bull Kelp Monitoring

MRC members and volunteers are testing kayak-based monitoring protocols to measure the size and health of local bull kelp beds. This is part of a regional Northwest Straits Initiative project. Learn more about kelp protection and recovery at the Northwest Straits

Forage Fish Spawner Surveys

Forage fish (small fish that are food for larger fish, shorebirds and marine mammals) are an important piece of the food web. Two important species lay their eggs in the intertidal area of local beaches. The MRC is now monitoring two sites for forage fish spawning activity: Fort Townsend State Park, in partnership with the Point No Point Treaty Council’s biologists, and a section of Discovery Bay shoreline. Both sand lance and surf smelt are spawning at Fort Townsend. Previous studies indicate we might find eggs in Discovery Bay.

Fort Townsend SP Nearshore Changes

The Fort Townsend nearshore restoration project restored natural erosion and sediment transport along and across the shoreline, creating better habitat for juvenile salmon, forage fish spawning and shore birds while improving public access to the beach. Pre-construction monitoring measured beach characteristics and confirmed that Pacific sand lance and surf smelt, two species of forage fish, use this beach as spawning habitat. We completed pre- and post visitor surveys in 2017 and are assisting WDFW with annual monitoring of beach changes.

Olympia Oyster Monitoring

MRC members and volunteers help monitor our two Olympia oyster restoration sites in Discovery and Quilcene Bays. (See our Olympia Oyster project page for more details.) Volunteers currently help distribute shell in project areas and measure size and quantity of spat found on the shells in annual surveys. In the past, volunteers helped move Olympia oysters “out of harms way” during restoration activities, conducted surveys to find Olympias on local beaches, and helped monitor reintroduction sites

Citizen Science Monitoring