MRC Annual Retreat
Volunteers scan the beach for pollution big and small

Snohomish MRC Celebrates International Coastal Cleanup Day

The MRC hosted a beach cleanup event on September 18, 2021 from 9AM-12PM at Kayak Point County Park for International Coastal Cleanup Day. This event was put on collaboratively by the Snohomish MRC with WSU Beach Watchers, WSU Waste Warriors, and Zero Waste Washington, and utilized the Escaped Trash Assessment Protocol developed by the EPA for cleaning up and assessing the impact of trash on the beach. Snohomish County Council Member Nate Nehring and Snohomish County Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Director Tom Teigen attended the event.

In total, nearly 40 volunteer citizen scientists carefully scanned 68,000 square feet at Kayak Point Beach for marine debris and primarily found and picked up small plastic fragments, cigarette butts, bottles and containers, charcoal from firepits, and fishing gear. In total 1,338 marine debris objects were collected, totaling over 56 pounds of trash. Using the protocol, the site was given a “C” and determined to be littered, meaning that trash was evenly distributed throughout the site and small accumulations of trash were visible. The citizen science data collected will be used for a region-wide effort to better understand trash loading and how trash is impacting the Puget Sound.

Senator Maria Cantwell visits Meadowdale Beach

After a decade of planning, construction has begun on renovations at the waterfront park to create a 1.3-acre pocket estuary that will bring back Chinook, chum, and coho salmon, as well as cutthroat trout.

On July 9 local politicians and advocates assembled for a tour of the site. Among the speakers were U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, state Sen. Marko Liias, Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson, and county Councilmember Megan Dunn.

“This is just an unbelievable investment that kind of, I think, is going to be symbolic for what we need to do,” Cantwell said. “… We’re learning if we want a shot at saving salmon, then we need to stop and think about how to pull out these blockages.”

Construction and limited park access for the Meadowdale Beach Park and Estuary Restoration Project began on Tuesday, June 15, 2021, and will continue through the fall. The project is estimated to be fully completed in the spring of 2022. 

MRC Kelp Monitoring Video From The Northwest Straits Commission

Of the 23 species of large brown algae (known as kelp) that are native to Puget Sound, the beautiful Nereocystis luetkeana, or bull kelp, is the largest. Reaching a canopy height of 60’ or more, this is likely the one you’ve tangled in a propeller, marked as a prized fishing spot or dive site, or perhaps eaten – pickled, as a tasty appetizer. In response to concerns about declining bull kelp populations in some parts of the Sound, and mounting interest in kelp restoration, the Northwest Straits Commission is gathering information for use in local and regional planning and research.