Workshops look to preserve Port Susan

Learn more about efforts to preserve Port Susan, the body of water between eastern Camano Island and the mainland, at workshops scheduled this week.

The sessions are intended to give the public a chance to hear the latest observations from scientists and resource managers. The goal is to coordinate groups already active in Port Susan. One workshop is scheduled Tuesday on Camano Island and another Thursday in Stanwood.

“Port Susan Bay is one of Puget Sound’s treasures,” said Kathleen Herrmann, marine resource steward for Snohomish County. “Our collaborative group is working to create a Marine Stewardship Area to keep this resource healthy for future generations. We encourage people to come, learn about the threats to the bay, provide input and learn more about this effort.”

The Stillaguamish River empties into Port Susan, forming a mixed fresh-saltwater environment of marshes, mud flats and tidal channels. The bay is home to chinook salmon, gray whales and shellfish beds. Rich farmland occupies nearby land.

Threats to the area’s natural resources include invasive species, stormwater runoff and man-made changes to the shoreline such as armoring, dikes and levees. Some fishing practices are unsustainable.

This week’s sessions are being led by Marine Resources Committees in Snohomish and Island counties as well as the Tulalip Tribes.

The University of Washington, the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians, Washington State University Beach Watchers and the Northwest Straits Marine Conservation Initiative are active as well. So is the Nature Conservancy, which owns a 4,000-acre preserve on Port Susan.

The workshops are sponsored by the Port Susan Bay Marine Stewardship Area Initiative. The goal is to focus the various groups on specific conservation goals.

A follow-up workshop is expected in March.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465, nhaglund@heraldnet.com.

Attend a workshop

Two workshops about protecting Port Susan are planned this week.

Tuesday: 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Camano Senior and Community Center, 606 Arrowhead Road, Camano Island.

Thursday: 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Stanwood Community and Senior Center, 7430 276th St. NW, Stanwood.

For more information, contact Kathleen Herrmann at kathleen.herrmann@ snoco.org or 425-388-6414.

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