About the MRC
We are volunteers from a cross-section of disciplines working to protect and restore marine life, habitat and water quality along our county's 212 miles of shoreline. We do this through research, restoration and education, and by promoting an ethic of stewardship. We identify problems and opportunities, and recommend remedial actions to local leaders. In addition we build community awareness of nearshore marine issues and support for the remedies.
Our members represent recreational and commercial fishing, agriculture, boating, aquaculture, science, the environment, local government, area tribes, higher education, resource management and our county's substantial Navy presence.
We are one of seven MRCs in the counties of northern Puget Sound created in 1998 when Congress authorized the Northwest Straits Marine Conservation Initiative (see page 8 of the legislation). This initiative resulted from the 1998 Murray-Metcalf Northwest Straits Citizens Advisory Commission Report. The MRCs were created to provide local, broad-based, bottom-up input to the Northwest Straits Commission (NWSC). The NWSC works to improve the overall health of the Northwest Straits ecosystem by developing and proposing scientifically-sound recommendations to decision-makers and by providing scientific, technical and financial help to the MRCs.
Our role is strictly advisory - we neither make nor enforce laws. We are appointed by the county commissioners and serve in a science-based advisory, educational and fund-raising capacity.
Our Mission and Strategic Plan
Our mission is to help protect and restore the marine environments of Island County and the Northwest Straits region by raising community awareness of marine issues and generating support for remedial actions taken by 2020, in line with the timetable set forth in the action plan of the Puget Sound Partnership. Click for our Strategic Plan.
- Frances Wood, Chair
- Elsa Schwartz, Vice-Chair
- Ed Adams, NWSC representative
- Barbara Bennett
- Leal Dickson
- Lois Farrington
- Ed Halloran
- Linda Rhodes
- Ruth Richards
- Kestutis Tautvydas
- David Thomson
- Anthony Turpin
- Stan Walsh
- Florian Graner, non-voting technical advisor
- Todd Zackey, non-voting technical advisor
- Lori Clark, ex-officio, County Lead, Island County Department of Natural Resources Manager
- Tim Lawrence, ex-officio, Director, WSU Extension
- Richard Hannold, ex-officio, County Commissioner
- Keith Higman, Island County Public Heath Director
- Jill Wood, Island County Environmental Health Director
COMMITTEE STAFF (NON-MEMBERS)
- Anna Toledo, MRC Coordinator