Island County Marine Resources Home Page

Shoreline Access Guide

Getting to the Water's Edge is a key element of our outreach strategy to deliver marine stewardship education to Island County residents and visitors, and raise awareness of the Island County Marine Stewardship Areas.

We co-published this popular guide to public shoreline access on Whidbey and Camano islands in 2006 in partnership with WSU Beach Watchers. It is a 176-page, full-color, field guide to our county's shores and trails. We designed it for sale in bookstores and shops, and knew within days of its release that we had a best seller. It describes 67 places on the two islands where the public may access the shoreline, includes 18 pages of trail maps and contains some 100 color images. Nearly half the 5,000-copy print run was distributed in the first six weeks to sponsors or sold to the public at 28 bookstores and shops in four counties. To purchase this book, visit the your local Whidbey bookseller or WSU Extension office Coupeville,  attend Sound Waters or

The concept for the book was to create a high-appeal guide that could serve as a platform to educate about nearshore best practices, stewardship, our county's marine stewardship areas and the Shore Stewards and Beach Watchers programs.

Getting to the Water's Edge outlines the Shore Stewards' 10 guidelines for shoreline living, the benefits of becoming a Shore Steward, and includes short essays on such topics as eelgrass, forage fish, beach shading, feeder bluffs, shoreline alternations, living on bluffs, pocket estuaries, citizen science, derelict fishing gear, bulkheading, septic systems, large woody debris, marine mammal stranding and other related topics.


Island County MRC | Island County Dept. of Natural Resources | PO Box 5000 | Coupeville, WA 98239-5000 | main (360)679.7350