Puget Sound's Aquatic Reserves
As we work to protect and restore Puget Sound, we must prevent degradation of the remaining pristine habitats. Aquatic Reserves are areas in Puget Sound of immense biodiversity with several healthy marine habitats located within each Reserve. WEC is working with local nonprofit partners in communities surrounding five Aquatic Reserves to initiate and manage the creation of Reserve-specific Citizen Stewardship Committees.
The Aquatic Reserves and our local partners on each project:
- Nisqually Reach - in partnership with Nisqually Reach Nature Center
- Maury Island - in partnership with Sound Action
- Smith and Minor Islands - in partnership with Whidbey Watershed Stewards
- Fidalgo Bay - in partnership with Re-Sources
- Cherry Point - in partnership with Re-Sources
These committees are designed to engage citizens in the management of their local Aquatic Reserve by encouraging them to take action to protect it. Our work in the Reserves is in conjunction with the DNR’s existing management program.
- Citizen science projects: Each committee plans, organizes, and/or conducts citizen science activities that augment or fill in data gaps of other monitoring and science activities performed by agencies or other groups.
- Education and outreach projects: Each committee plans, organizes and/or conducts public education to inform the surrounding community about the existence and ecological importance of the Reserve.
- Technical reviews: Each committee will track actions taken in or adjacent to the reserve that may impact the
- Reserve’s health. Analyze these actions through the lens of the management plan and provide recommendations to appropriate regulatory bodies.
To learn more about this project or to get involved in your local committee, contact our Aquatic Reserves Project Coordinator Maddie Foutch at Maddie@wecprotects.org or 206-631-2644.
This project is funded by a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Department of Natural Resources.