Sound Water Stewards are trained volunteers working in and around Island County for a healthy, sustainable Puget Sound environment through education, community outreach, stewardship, and citizen science.
Trent Lowe, Kathy and Jim McNally, John Mathis, LaVonna Ihde, Mary Allison, Bob Tushinski, Mikaela Montanari, Kate Vagner, Shirley and Graham Hutchison, Terry Skorheim, Marci Lukehart and Paulette Brunner
Sarka Martinez, Leslie Hutchinson, and Lisa Poitras monitor the County Dock-East Sound station on Orcas Island. Sarka is part of KWIAHT to which sampling for SoundToxins is one aspect of her volunteering capacity with the organization. Sarka is a "self-taught naturalist who gives time to various citizen science projects on both the coasts of Northern Florida and the San Juan Islands." She also loves to observe life under a microscope identifying plankton and various seaweed species.
Sarka Martinez, Leslie Hutchinson, and Lisa Poitras
Lynnette Wood, Ellen Winter and Michael Greenberg monitor the Long Live the Kings station on Orcas Island. In addition to reporting to SoundToxins, their sampling serves to alert the Glenwood Springs Salmon Hatchery when plankton are present that may be harmful to salmon fry. As these young salmon are particularly susceptible to Heterosigma akashiwo, SoundToxins weekly monitoring at this site has the added benefit providing alerts to hatchery personnel during the period of the year when young salmon are released from the hatchery.
Lynnette Wood, Ellen Winter, and Michael Greenberg.
SoundToxins volunteers Karlista Rickerson and Mary Kelly monitor the waters of Quartermaster Harbor on Vashon Island. Karlista has also been sampling mussels for the Washington State Department of Health for a few years, so she was interested in the chance to actually “look at” the phytoplankton that cause the paralytic shellfish poisoning and amnesic shellfish poisoning. “I’m curious and like to ask questions, such as: when scuba diving, what was in that mouth full of water I just swallowed; or, “why do mussel die offs occur about the same time each year?” SoundToxins is important to Karlista because being part of a long-term monitoring program allows her to help answer questions like “What if there are other phytoplankton that cause problems? What if the shellfish are toxic at a lower level than determined to be “safe?”
Mary Kelly and Karlista Rickerson