Discover Puget Sound with free Beach Watcher lectures

  • Wed Apr 7th, 2010 3:09pm
  • Life

By Sarah Jackson Herald Writer

If you’re fascinated by Puget Sound and want to protect it, you could become a professionally educated Beach Watcher.

You’d sign up for 100 hours of training in the spring and 100 hours of volunteer work spread out over two years.

If, however, that sounds like a bit too much right now, you’re in luck.

Local Beach Watchers have organized four free evening lectures for busy people who want to learn more about our beautiful local waters and the plants and animals that call them home.

“Our Puget Sound, in Depth,” a series now in its third year, begins Wednesday in Mukilteo with “Orcas, Salmon and Tradition,” a presentation by Howard Garrett, who’s with the Orca Network, a Whidbey Island-based nonprofit group.

In February, John Williams of Still Hope Productions of Suquamish will present an “Underwater Neighborhood Tour,” featuring video taken from his and others’ underwater archives.

Williams, who produces films and TV shows about Puget Sound sea life, hopes people leave his lecture with an appreciation of their unsung marine neighbors.

That includes sea urchins, tube worms and hermit crabs, all captured not just on shore in the human environment, but in their underwater worlds as well.

“I’m doing this because I really believe in it,” Williams said. “I think people learning more about what’s in our waters is a really important step toward learning to take care of them better.”

In March, Craig Collar with the Snohomish County PUD will talk about tidal energy and other renewable energy sources.

In April, Dave Ward with Snohomish County Surface Water Management will present “Puget Sound Starts Here.” He’ll explain how yard chemicals, oil, grease, soap and bacteria from pet waste and broken septic systems can pollute Puget Sound.

Kristine Manz of Edmonds, a 33-year-old beach watcher with the Washington State University Snohomish County Extension Office, helped organize the series.

She wants to share the fascinating knowledge she and her classmates acquired during their training, which featured numerous local experts.

“We really are just trying to get people as excited about Puget Sound as we are,” Manz said, urging people to attend one or all four lectures.

“Come just for an evening. Learn a bit and, hopefully, take home some behavior changes that will affect the health of Puget Sound.”

Sarah Jackson: 425-339-3037,

Get involved

What: “Our Puget Sound, in Depth” is a series of four free lectures for people who want to learn more about Puget Sound and how to protect it.

Where: Rosehill Community Center, 304 Lincoln Ave., Mukilteo.

When: All lectures start at 7 p.m.

  • Jan. 13: “Orcas, Salmon and Tradition” with Howard Garrett, Orca Network

    Feb. 10: “Underwater Neighborhood Tour” with John Williams, Still Hope Productions

    March 10: “Tidal Energy and Other Renewable Energy Sources” with Craig Collar, Snohomish County PUD

    April 14: “Puget Sound Starts Here” with Dave Ward, Snohomish County Surface Water Management

    How: Registration is not necessary. Contact or 425-357-6020 with questions.

    Be a Beach Watcher

    Snohomish County Beach Watcher training for 2010 will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays from March 23 to May 6 in Everett. There is a $30 materials fee. Go to for applications, due March 2.

    Starlight beach walks

    Would you like to see what exciting things emerge come nightfall at the beach? Try one of three upcoming naturalist walks. Bring head lamps and flashlights, cold weather gear and waterproof boots from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Jan. 26 at Mukilteo Lighthouse Park, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Feb 24 at Olympic Beach in Edmonds, and 7:30 to 9 p.m. Feb 26 at Kayak Point County Park.