Sound Water Stewards are trained volunteers working in and around Island County for a healthy, sustainable marine environment through education, science, and stewardship.
What We Do
A major focus of our program is the annual training program for new volunteers - 80 hours of expert training from top professionals, plus 20 hours of hands-on training. Since our inception in 1989 as WSU Beach Watchers to an independent organization in 2016, we have trained over 800 volunteers.
Volunteers work on a variety of projects in keeping with our mission. Volunteer members engage in active projects and in the work of maintaining the organization. We partner with federal and state agencies, governments, universities, state and local parks, and other nonprofit organizations in projects which focus on work in the Salish Sea. At the same time, we are a community of like-minded people who care deeply for our natural environment and enjoy learning together and socially with one another to celebrate what we have accomplished while continuing to learn how to be better stewards.
The Three Pillars of Sound Water Stewards
Education - from our Coupeville Wharf display, to teaching kids the wonders of their island habitats, to running a university level symposium each year called Sound Water University, to teaching people to responsibly harvest clams and crabs, and our locally renown annual volunteer education and training, we provide thousands of hours of education a year to our volunteers and the public alike in both the physical and virtual realm. Check out our amazing video series on Vimeo to learn more about the wonders around you. Below is just one example of the amazing videos we produce!
Science- we are the 'boots on the ground' (and in the water and mud!) for many science projects - following exact protocols to guarantee the accuracy and value to scientists of the collected data. Pictured, our volunteers assisting the Marine Resources Committee of Island County collect data on Bull Kelp via kayaks.
Stewardship - we perform trail maintenance and beach cleanups, pull noxious weeds and plant native plants for habitat restoration, collect monofilament line at 14 fishing destinations and take it to be recycled, and clean 33 shoreline interpretive signs in Island County.
Explore our new interactive Project Map on our newly updated Sound Water Stewards website and learn about everything we are involved in with! Together we can work to protect the Salish Sea & all of its inhabitants through Education, Stewardship, and Community Science.