February 2023 Natural Resources Newsletter

Having trouble reading this email? View it in your browser


IC Logo


Natural Resources


February 2023



Introducing John Lovie: Jan Holmes Costal Volunteer of the Year

The Jan Holmes Award, presented by the Island County Marine Resources Committee, Sound Water Stewards, and WSU Extension – Island County, is given every year to an outstanding volunteer whose efforts contribute to the protection and restoration of the Island County marine ecosystem and coastal resources. The award is named to honor the memory of Jan Holmes, an exemplary marine scientist, educator, and champion for stewardship of the marine environment. To learn more about the Jan Holmes Award, click here!

John Lovie

Image: Jan Holmes Coastal Volunteer of the Year Award 2023 by IC DNR

John Lovie is a leader in the world of water quality and marine resource conservation. He is well deserved in winning the Jan Holmes Award for 2023!

John has been an avid volunteer, dedicating countless hours as part of community science organizations and community-driven boards to improve the water quality, coastal resources, and health of Island County. He can often be heard in his various committees as a voice of reason. He will take on projects and do the difficult work to drive environmental actions and ideas forward. John does more than simply attend meetings; whether he’s giving his opinion on a new Salmon Recovery project or developing technical tools, he always brings a presence of mind and critical eye to Island County’s restoration projects. His words are well thought out and considered, and his passion for protecting and restoring the environment and enhancing water quality always comes through. Island County and the Puget Sound region have benefited from his scientific background and expertise, and his prolific volunteering in multiple areas has given him a vast well of knowledge and context to work from. He shares information from all of his committees and uses it to enhance local knowledge, make connections, and drive projects forward. His background in chemistry and engineering makes him an expert who benefits every organization he is a part of.

Congratulations to John! Thank you for all of your hard work to make the Salish Sea a better place!

Upcoming Shore Friendly Workshop

On February 25th, the Northwest Straits Foundation and the Snohomish and Island County MRC's will be hosting a free workshop in Arlington, WA to discuss living with sea level rise. The workshop is intended for Port Susan and Camano homeowners. To learn more and to register, click here!

SF Workshop Flyer 2/25/23


Conservation Futures Program Continues to Accept Applications for its 2023 Cycle

The Conservation Futures Program is funded by a local property tax. The Conservation Futures property tax is used for land protection and stewardship to preserve the irreplaceable character of unique, distinctive lands and to protect habitat.

The organizations that are eligible to receive Conservation Futures grants include Island County government, cities, towns, special purpose districts, non-profit nature conservancy organizations (as defined in RCW 84.34.250), and non-profit historic preservation organizations (as defined in RCW 64.04.130).

For more information about applications and funding, click here! 

Programmatic Updates

Island Local Integrating Organization (ILIO)

The next ILIO Technical Committee meetings will be held on Tuesday, March 14th from 1:00PM-3:00PM via Zoom.

Be sure to check ILIO's website for upcoming meeting agendas and minutes.

Marine Resources Committee (MRC) 

The Island County Marine Resources Committee is proud to present its 2021-2022 Annual Report and its 2021-2024 Strategic Plan! In the past year, the committee has put a lot of effort into defining where it needs to be focusing its energy. The committee looks forward to continuing to educate the community about the issues and successes related to Island County's beautiful marine resources.

The next Island County MRC Meeting will be on Tuesday, March 7th from 3:00-5:00PM via Zoom. If you would like to join either of the meetings, contact the Marine Resources Committee Coordinator Kelly Zupich at k.zupich@islandcountywa.gov.

Be sure to check MRC's website for upcoming meetings, agendas, and minutes.

Salmon Recovery

The next Salmon Recovery Technical and Citizen Committee (SRTCC) meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 15th from 2:00-4:00PM via Zoom. If you would like to join the meeting, contact Clea Barenburg at c.barenburg@islandcountywa.gov.

Be sure to check out the Island County Salmon Recovery Website for upcoming meeting agendas and minutes.

Resources and Interesting Reads

Local News

King Tides and Erosion: How Shore Friendly Can Help!

King tides and erosion are often at the forefront of our minds this time of year, especially for shoreline property owners. The Island County Shore Friendly program can help you learn how to make your shoreline property more resilient to sea level rise, explore the actions you can take to prevent erosion, and work towards increasing your property’s habitat value for fish and wildlife. To learn more, visit the Island County Shore Friendly website. Shoreline property owners can get started by signing up to receive a free, non-regulatory site visit with a coastal expert.

Seahorse Siesta Restoration Project 1

Image: Seahorse Siesta Restoration Project by IC DNR

Funding Opportunities

WDFW’s Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account (ALEA)

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s ALEA grants support volunteer-based projects that benefit Washington’s fish and wildlife resources. Individual community members, nonprofit organizations, schools/universities, tribes, and conservation districts are welcome to apply. ALEA grants fund five types of projects: habitat restoration, scientific research/community science, public education and outreach, facility development and artificial fish production. WDFW is currently accepting new ALEA grant applications for projects occurring between July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2025. Approximately $897,000 is available for grant projects. Funding will be allocated in two categories: small grants of $5,000 or less, and grants over $5,000. The maximum amount for grant requests is $44,845. Grant applications are due no later than February 28, 2023. For more information and to submit a Grant Eligibility Questionnaire click HERE.

Bureau of Reclamation WaterSMART Grant Funding 

The Bureau of Reclamation is making approximately $80 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law available for water conservation, water management and restoration projects that will result in significant benefits to ecosystem or watershed health under their WaterSMART program. States, Tribes, conservation organizations, and others are eligible to apply. Applications are due by March 28, 2023, at 4 pm. MDT. Watch a recorded info session on applicant and project type eligibility, program requirements, and the evaluation criteria for the Environmental Water Resources Projects funding opportunity and the upcoming Aquatic Ecosystems Restoration Program by clicking HERE, or for more information about the WaterSMART program, click HERE.

RFI on Monitoring to Accelerate Recovery 

The Partnership is pleased to announce a Request for Information for collaborative monitoring-related projects to support and accelerate the recovery of the Puget Sound ecosystem. Proposals should either involve developing and first-time reporting of Vital Sign Indicators or addressing questions to inform and assess progress toward desired outcomes and statutory goals for Puget Sound recovery. Approximately $750,000 will be allocated for selected projects with budgets ranging from $50,000 to $120,000. Up to 10 projects will be supported for the period of July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2025.  Responses are due by 11:59 pm on April 14, 2023. There is an info session on February 23, 2023 from 1-2 pm, to register click HERE. For more information on the RFI click HERE.


Rising Sea Levels Study

According to the Island County Sea Level Rise Strategy Study from March 2020, 1-3 feet of sea level rise is projected as likely to occur for the coastal areas of Island County by the year 2100. Extreme flooding events typically happen as a result of combined severe winter weather and tidal surge. Private homes on the shoreline experience the fallout of these storms: bulkheads overtop, onsite septic systems fail, wells become inundated with sea water, homes flood, and land erodes. Looking into the future, we expect to have storms that are more powerful and more destructive more frequently.

While sea level rise is inevitable, there are programs and actions that coastal communities can take to become more resilient. Reading about them in the Island County Sea Level Rise Strategy Study can help shed some light on community action. Click here to find the document!

Salmon Recovery Conference 

This year's Salmon Recovery Conference will be held on April 18-19, 2023 at the convention center in Vancouver, WA. Early bird registration has opened. The theme of this year’s conference is A Shared Future, which reflects the desire to hear broad community perspectives with regards to salmon recovery. View a complete list of registration types and prices at Salmon Recovery Conference - Recreation and Conservation Office (wa.gov).


Utilizing MyCoast to Help our Shoreline Stewards

Collecting data is critical to helping agencies and organizations steward our shoreline. MyCoast can be used as a website or a phone-based app. It empowers community members to help characterize beach change and the impact of nearshore hazards in order to enhance awareness among decision makers. You can help track things like beach change over time, large marine debris, king tides, abandoned vessels, creosote logs, and storm surges. To learn more or to download the app, click here!