Each county-based MRC sets local resource priorities, sponsors projects to address those priorities, and oversees their progress. Through their activities, MRCs coordinate diverse partners, support creative and action-oriented solutions, and provide a platform for education and outreach on local issues.
All of the coastal counties currently participate in the MRC Program. The four Coastal County MRCs are: Clallam and Jefferson (combined and named the North Pacific Coast), Grays Harbor, Pacific, and Wahkiakum. Each county completed an “exploratory” process before formally establishing a MRC through county resolution or ordinance, and appointing committee membership.
All MRC projects focus on meeting the performance benchmarks of the program: Marine Habitats, Marine Life, Marine and Fresh Water Quality, Sound Science, Education and Outreach, and Coastal Communities. Over the past year, the Coastal MRCs completed many high quality projects that met these benchmarks. Their accomplishments are summarized below.
- Completion of the first phase of a coast-wide collaborative MRC effort to assess the economic value of jobs and industry related to the marine resources of Washington’s outer coast
- Development of the Washington Coastal Marine Advisory Council
- Enhancement of science education through classroom presentations, and field trip transportation to marine and estuarine environments on Washington’s outer coast
- Completion of numerous coast-wide beach and estuary garbage cleanups, including initial debris from the Japanese tsunami
- Identified derelict gear in the Grays Harbor Estuary
- Hosting of outreach events in each county, including a science conference, community potluck and science fair, watershed festival, and a fish preservation workshop
- Completing a shoreline trail to provide access for persons with disabilities to marine resource areas
- Promoted sustainable land use, and provided invasive species information
- Organization of the 3rd Annual Washington Coastal MRC Summit co-sponsored by Surfrider Foundation and The Nature Conservancy
- Scientific investigation of water quality and habitat condition through citizen-science monitoring and reporting
- Connecting local residents to non-profit groups and state agencies to improve the marine environment and economy of coastal communities
- Raised general awareness of marine and estuarine issues through MRC-sponsored newspaper publications, presence at local festivals, science-based workshops, creation of educational signs, and other outreach and communication activities
For more detail on these projects, committee members, and contact information, please visit the individual MRC pages.