Learn about geology, marine birds, sea stars and seaweeds during the third annual forum focused on the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve.
“The idea is to familiarize people with what is at Cherry Point, what the aquatic reserve system is and why we need to protect it,” said Gaythia Weis, a member of the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve Citizen Stewardship Committee.
The reserve is north of Bellingham in the Strait of Georgia, near two refineries and an aluminum smelter.
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The committee is hosting the forum.
There also will be time for people to ask questions. Sessions are:
▪ 10 a.m. Geologic structure, processes and sediment transport at Cherry Point. Eric Grossman, research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, will be the presenter.
▪ 10:45 a.m. Eelgrass, kelp and their link with physical and biologic processes at Cherry Point. Thomas Mumford of Marine Agronomics will give the talk.
▪ 12:30 pm. Marine birds, marine ecology, citizen science, and conservation and resource management in Northwest waters. Julia Parrish, professor at the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington, is the presenter.
▪ 1:15 pm. Documenting sea star wasting syndrome through long-term surveys and citizen science monitoring. Melissa Miner, research associate with UC Santa Cruz Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network, is the speaker. She lives in Bellingham.
Coffee and tea will be provided. Participants can bring a sack lunch or buy a $5 pizza lunch. Registration is not required.
The forum also gives people a chance to learn about the environmental research that’s occurring and about how trained volunteers can participate in what’s called citizen science to help the reserve.
“We are trying to interest people in the idea that citizen science is a valuable and effective way of helping these researchers,” Weis said.
Reach Kie Relyea at 360-715-2234 or firstname.lastname@example.org.