Island County Marine Resources Committee (MRC) is an advisory body to county government established in 1999 and comprised of many community volunteers who represent diverse interests and industries, with the common goal to protect and restore marine resources in the Puget Sound area through scientific monitoring, restoration projects, and community education.

MRC Meeting
Room B-102, County Annex Building, Coupeville
Lois Farrington sampling for forage fish eggs. Credit: Ruth Richards

Surf smelt eggs found in Cornet Bay!

Our MRC forage fish team discovered surf smelt eggs adjacent to the Cornet Bay restoration area in Deception Pass State Park. The restoration project, a partnership with Island County MRC, Northwest Straits Foundation, and Deception Pass State Park, included the removal of a large creosote bulkhead and contaminated fill, and re-grading the beach to a natural contour. This finding from September is the first documented evidence of surf smelt spawning in Cornet Bay!

Read more about this discovery in the Whidbey News Times article linked below.

Jan Holmes

Now Accepting Nominations for 2017 Volunteer of the Year

Do you know someone whose volunteer efforts contribute to the protection and/or restoration of the marine waters and coastal resources of Island County?

Highlight their service by nominating them for the 2017 Jan Holmes Island County Coastal Volunteer of the Year Award!

This award is open to all volunteers, regardless of membership to any one organization or institution, participating in or supporting science and outreach efforts that protect or restore the coastal resources of Island County.

Nomination forms must be received by 4:30 PM Wednesday, January 11, 2017.

Crab pots. Source:

Collaborating to Clean Up Puget Sound

MRC Vice-Chair, Elsa Schwartz, recently joined the Northwest Straits Foundation to retrieve derelict crab pots off Camano Island as part of their Derelict Gear Removal Program. Read more about their efforts in this article in the Stanwood Camano News, and check out the photo gallery from their day on the water.