Sound Waves

Newsletter for Members of Sound Water Stewards of Island County
July 2019

Table of Contents

Educational Opportunities
Volunteer Opportunities
From the Board & Staff 
Volunteer Spotlight
Bimonthly Book
Good to Know!


SWS Annual Picnic
West Beach Shelter, Deception Pass State Park (Cranberry Lake)

12 pm- 4 pm


Whidbey Monthly Meeting

No July Monthly Meeting


Camano Monthly Meeting
No July Monthly Meeting
August 5th, 9:30 am-11 am at Cama Center

Kelly Martin will be presenting
"European Green Crab Invasion into the Salish Sea"

Educational Opportunities

Field Trip: Harbor Porpoises of the Salish Sea!
When: Thursday, August 29th at 10 am
Where: Anacortes Public Library 
Who: Dr. Cindy Elliser of Pacific Mammal Research
Please contact: Allie Hudec to sign up

For more information (click here)

4th Wednesdays 

July 24th at the Camano Library from 7 pm- 8 pm

Dan McShane will present "Glacial History and the Shaping of Camano Island"

Volunteer Opportunities

Intertidal Beach Monitoring
When: July 31st, 7:30am-12:00pm
Where: Trails End
Signup: Here

When: August 1st, 8:30am-12:45pm
Where: Harrington
Signup: Here

When: August 2nd, 9 am-1:10pm
Where: Old Clinton
Signup: Here

The Stillaguamish Tribe is planning a soft landing at Camano Island State Park on July 22nd as part of their Canoe Journey this year. They are looking for volunteers who might be interested in helping between 10:30 am - 3 pm. Any hours you are able to work in that time period are highly welcome! Tamara will be coordinating tasks to volunteers the week of July 15th. 

Contact: Tamara Neuffer
SoundToxins: algae monitoring

When: July 10th @ Cama, 11 am
Contact: Shirley & Graham

When: July 12th @ Cama, 11 am
Contact: Shirley & Graham

When: July 17th @ Cama, 2:30 pm
Contact: Geir

When: July 19th @ Cama, 11 am
Contact: Geir

SoundToxins: algae monitoring

When: July 24th @ Cama, 11:15 am
Contact: Trent

When: July 26th @ Cama, 11 am
Contact: Trent

When: July 31st @ Cama, 1:30 pm
Contact: Mary

When: August 2 @ Cama, 11 am
Contact: Mary

From the Board & Staff

From the Board President PaulBen McElwain

I'd like to contribute just a couple of short notes this month for my view from the Board. First, Getting To The Water's Edge project teams are moving toward the release of the 2019 revised edition. The Production Team is pulling together the many tasks of completing the book, including writing some final sections and indexing in hopes of getting it to the printer sometime during the Fall...(Read More)
From the Executive Director
Nan Maysen
Citizen Science and Education & Outreach are the cornerstones of Sound Water Stewards. In our mission, we engage trained volunteers to work in and around Island County for a healthy, sustainable Puget Sound environment through education, community outreach, stewardship, and citizen science. We have the Citizen Science Committee and Leads who work with the Coordinators to provide structure for our citizen science work...(Read More)

From Camano Coordinator
Mikaela Montanari

Summer tidings to you all. This summer has come upon me very quickly, but with it comes field trip season! On June 13th several Stewards and I embarked on a trip to Kiket Island. We meet up with the Swinomish Environmental Director, Todd Mitchell and learned how the tribe in partnership with Deception State Park purchased and restored the island. To date, the island houses several rare coastal wildflowers is home to a mated Oyster Catcher pair and has a salt marsh. I highly recommend taking a day trip out to the island!

From Whidbey Coordinator
Allie Hudec

I hope you have all had a wonderful summer so far! I would like to give you all a quick update on the Coupeville Wharf project. First and foremost, I will start by saying that the team who conceptualized, planned and created the wharf display did a wonderful job and it is a beautifully effective draw for visitors. I personally LOVE the wharf and have taken over 100 people there for field trips, Navy tours, historic walks for ELNHR, and Road Scholar trips. I am flattered to be asked to help with its maintenance and growth and I hope to honor the original vision with anything we do. ...(Read More)

Volunteer Committee Spotlight

It Takes a Neighborhood to Train SWS Volunteers: Who are the Eagle Crest Mafia?
2019 Facilitators from left to right; Mary Allison, Laurie Larkin, & Greg Larkin
Written by Mikaela Montanari
For many stewards, our first experience as SW Stewards begins in the classroom as a student. SWS training covers a breadth of topics, locations, refreshments, snacks, presenter coordination, room setups, teardowns, weekly emails, and technological difficulties. All of which hinges on the due diligence of your classroom facilitator(s) and the Volunteer Education Training Committee (VETC). In the last two and a half years, Camano Island facilitators and committee members have come from one neighborhood, Eagle Crest. (Read More)

Bimonthly Book

The Sea Around Us
By Rachel L. Carson

Written by Mikaela Montanari
Rachel Carson became internationally well know for writing Silent Spring and subsequently causing the United States government to cease all application and spraying of DDT, due to public outcry. She has been credited with sparking the United States's environmental movement. Rachel Carson was a trained Marine Biologist, author, and Department of Fish and Wildlife employee.

Her second well-known book "...published in 1951, The Sea Around Us is one of the most remarkably successful books ever written about the natural world. Rachel Carson's rare ability to combine scientific insight with moving, poetic prose catapulted her book to first place on The New York Times best-seller list, where it enjoyed wide attention for thirty-one consecutive weeks...."

-Review by

Good to Know!

Educational Collection of Marine Invertebrates for Events


Written by Mikaela Montanari
As stewards of our local intertidal zone and the Salish Sea, we are often the bridge that connects Island County residents to the science of the sea. Many of you have volunteered at local events and festivals that included our local fauna friends (displayed in the picture above). As science interpreters and educators, we need our marine ambassadors to cement ideas into the minds of those who do not frequent the beach. But did you know that we must follow the Washington State Fish and Wildlife stringent rules and regulations on the collection, display, release, and occasionally euthanizing of our display creatures? Here is a quick bullet point “need to know” before you embark on collecting adventures to keep you legal and the ambassadors alive...(Read More)
Recreational Crabber Outreach 2019
By Scott Chase

Many thanks to all volunteers who helped educate recreational crabbers launching their boats at Camano Island State Park on July 6th, an effort supported by Sound Water Stewards and the Island County Marine Resources Committee! Those present at 7 am included Paulette Brunner, Carol Swain, Lorie Talbott, Scott Chase, and Kathleen Chase. There was a light but steady flow of trucks and trailers with boats arriving, slowing just long enough for us to hand out crabber education materials in three categories. (Read More)


History of Sponges: Why sea sponges are more sustainable than plastic sponges
Written by Mikaela Montanari
For thousands of years, humans have relied on natural resources in everyday life and hygiene. The sea sponge is no exception! In Faith Warn's book, Bitter Sea: The Real Story of Greek Sponge Diving, she discusses how:

"Images of sponges have been found on Greek pottery remains, as a depiction of opulence and as a status symbol. Homer lists sponges as hygienic tools in the Iliad and the Odyssey, while Aristotle makes reference to an elephant nose-like tube that divers used to use when fishing for sponges. A number of Roman writers, such as Cicero, allude to the use of sponges for personal hygiene. Each Roman soldier was equipped with a marine sponge for precisely the same purpose."

Like all natural resources, humans have a learning curve in which we discover the harms of over-harvesting and individual species management can have on nature. But with proper management, sea sponges have a slew of untapped medicinal, hygienic, and filter cleaning properties that can significantly impact the planet and human health. (Read More)
Sea Sponge

Sponges are animals that live in the ocean and is antibacterial.
Loofah "Sponge" 

Loofahs are the fibrous insides of a plant and tend to collect bacteria.
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PO Box 1225, Coupeville, WA 98239

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