Kelp forests are known to be one of the most productive ecosystems on Earth. Photo: Florian Graner

The MRC’s purpose is to investigate, research, and identify local marine resources, and marine resource and habitat issues; recommend remedial actions to Island County agencies and authorities; carry out such recommendations where so approved; and build local awareness of the issues and broad-based community support for the remedies.

View our 2021 Annual Report

About us

In the video below, learn about Island County's unique nearshore ecosystem, the work of the MRC, and the role we all play in protecting and preserving this area that we love.

We are volunteers from a cross-section of disciplines working to protect and restore marine life, habitat and water quality along our county's 200+ miles of shoreline. We do this through research, restoration and education, and by promoting an ethic of stewardship. We identify problems and opportunities, and recommend remedial actions to local leaders. In addition we build community awareness of nearshore marine issues and support for the remedies.

Our members represent a wide variety of interests, including recreational fishing, agriculture, boating, science, the environment, local government, ports, tribes, higher education, and resource management.

We are one of seven MRCs in the counties of northern Puget Sound created in 1998 when Congress authorized the Northwest Straits Marine Conservation Initiative (see page 8 of the legislation). This initiative resulted from the 1998 Murray-Metcalf Northwest Straits Citizens Advisory Commission Report. The MRCs were created to provide local, broad-based, bottom-up input to the Northwest Straits Commission (NWSC). The NWSC works to improve the overall health of the Northwest Straits ecosystem by developing and proposing scientifically-sound recommendations to decision-makers and by providing scientific, technical and financial help to the MRCs.