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Creating stewardship through exploration
Stewardship starts with awareness.
That's the mantra of the non-profit People for Puget Sound, a group which has pledged to clean up and protect the Northwest straights of Puget Sound through action and education. Staying true to that creed, the group is in the midst of its first foray into the Kitsap side of the Sound as they’ve teamed up with another local group — Kitsap Beach Naturalists — for three wintertime low-tide moonlight beach walks around the county.
While they annually lead beach walks around the Sound, this is the non-profit’s first real venture into Kitsap.
Upcoming, they’ll visit the Manchester shoreline at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 9, followed by an expedition at Fort Ward State Park on Bainbridge Island at the same time Feb. 6.
The first was beneath a full moon, Dec. 11 on the shores of the Port Washington Narrows, near Lions Park in Bremerton.
Daoud Miller, an education and involvement coordinator for People for Puget Sound, was there along with Peg Tillery of the Kitsap Beach Naturalists (a group with roots in the Washington State University Kitsap Extension), and Jeff Adams, a marine biologist with the Univeristy of Washington Sea Grant. There was also a somewhat surprising number of families and kids of all ages out on the cold December’s eve, but that’s exactly how the People for Puget Sound approach to shoreline stewardship is emboldened, Miller said.
When whole families come out, not only do they get to experience first hand the subtle thrill of tromping around the low-tide shoreline with flashlights, finding sea stars and crabs and other creatures, but they can also then take that experience and expand upon in it in the days and weeks to come, Miller said.
“Stewardship is something that spans generations,” he noted, with parents teaching kids and kids reminding parents. But the key is the awareness of what is there to protect.
Some people have never known much more about Puget Sound than the blue expanse they see when they look out from shore, or from aboard a ferry boat, Miller noted, which is a viewpoint that has a tendency to create a subliminal sense of disregard or even apathy with regard to stewardship.
It’s when you get to know what lies beneath that the urge for stewardship surfaces. And there are few better ways to get aquainted with the underwater climate of Puget Sound then by walking the beach at low-tide with marine biologists and beach naturalists.
To find out more about People for Puget Sound, including educational resources, ways to connect, learn and act visit www.pugetsound.org. And for more on the Kitsap Beach Naturalists, a volunteer group of shoreline stewards which meets regularly at the Poulsbo Marine Science Center, call Peg Tillery at (360) 337-7224 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
People for Puget Sound non-profit teams up with local Beach Naturalists and other experts to offer free, informative low-tide winter moonlight beachwalks