If you’ve thought about being a Beach Watcher, training starts soon

If you’re looking for an active role as a steward of Puget Sound, now’s your chance.

Washington State University Beach Watchers are offering annual training for volunteers who want to join their program. But act quick; the application deadline is March 5.

“The beauty of Beach Watchers is that they get to craft their own volunteer experience,” said Chrys Bertolotto, program coordinator. “The opportunities change over time, because the needs change. The program is constantly evolving.”

Beach Watchers is for people who love spending time on the shore and who want to volunteer time to protect Puget Sound’s waters and wildlife. University-caliber training allows participants to accomplish that through education, research and restoration.

The training is divided into two periods, one running March 20 through April 13, the other Sept. 21 through Oct. 16.

Classes are scheduled Tuesdays and Fridays, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Snohomish County’s McCollum Park, 600 128th St SE, Everett. People who enroll must pay $30 for materials. Fee waivers are available.

Topics covered in the training include: coastal geology, water quality, public education, marine wildlife, scientific monitoring, forest health and more.

Class size is limited.

Training lasts for more than 100 hours. It includes expert presentations, field trips and hands-on practice. In return for the training, participants volunteer at least 100 hours over two years. Those project may include teaching children about what they’ll find at low tide, collecting water samples for the state, organizing public seminars or conducting hands-on restoration projects.

The program has about 80 active members, Bertolotto said. They have contributed nearly 24,000 hours since the program began in 2006.

For more information or for an application, contact Chrys Bertolotto at chrys@wsu.edu or 425-357-6020, or go to www.beachwatchers.wsu.edu/Snohomish.

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