Sound Waters 2015 features special exhibit celebrating 20 years
20 Years for Sound Waters
To help celebrate 20 years of Sound Waters, Exhibit Chairs Mary Hulbert and Nicole Luce went digging in the archives. The first thing they discovered was that we had missed a year! This 2015 Sound Waters would be our 21st. They teamed with Bonnie Gretz [BW 2013] and Debra Paros [BW 2014] to highlight each of the first 20 years of Sound Waters.
Kiosks added artistry and information for Sound Water Attendees
They created 5 kiosks, each covering 4 years. Bonnie painted the beautiful underwater bases, each topped by panels created by the team and depicting a single year of highlights pulled from the SW records ( keynote & speaker, class topics, copies from newspaper articles, SW brochures, and many fun graphics and photographs). High above each kiosk, a “flying”critter (orca, salmon, harbor seal, sea stars, pigeon guillemot) balanced on bamboo poles (thank you, Debra!).
The display got very good to excellent reviews in the Sound Waters survey:
Let’s keep displaying this – to the public, at BW events, during BW-25 celebrations!
Nicole took one kiosk to the Whidbey Gardening Workshop in Oak Harbor. Many viewers said they didn’t know about Sound Waters, making the attention-getting kiosk perfect for outreach. If anyone wants to arrange for using all or part of the SW-20 display, contact Nicole or Mary.
Highlighting Connections with Many Groups
Another new twist to Exhibits this year was to focus on groups that have a strong relationship with Beach Watchers. A bright placard (on driftwood base) on each table highlighted their connection to BWs – including numbers of BW volunteers and hours, projects involving BWs, history of attending Sound Waters.
Have you ever wondered about South Whidbey weather patterns?
Rather than relying on neighbors and memories, weather facts are now being recorded by the newly dedicated WSU AgWeather station. We know South Whidbey gets 10 more inches of rain annually than mid or north island. And we know the south is the most active area for converging patterns of strong winds and storms, challenging farmers, gardeners, County Public Works and utilities. Now we have proof!
How was the WSU AgWeather station established?
Two years ago WSU Island County Extension, through the Beach Watchers program, launched a campaign to find a site and raise the initial installation and maintenance cost ($10,000) to locate a WSU AgWeather station on South Whidbey. The station required an unobstructed site to collect accurate data that would not be easily exposed to damage.
Who paid for the Weather Station?
The Lighthouse Environmental Program (LEP)
Puget Sound energy
WSU Island County Extension
Annual maintenance costs will be $2500 and donations, specifically identified for the South Whidbey Weather Station, can be sent to P.O. Box 5000, Coupeville, WA 98239. You can also visit http://weather.wsu.edu/awn.php?page=financial
Where is the Weather Station located?
The Whidbey Conservation District helped to identify the ideal site at the farm of John and Molley Peterson. The station was installed in December, 2014 and dedicated on March 3, 2015, in honor of Molley’s father, a career meteorologist. Present at the dedication were John and Molly Peterson, Rick Blank and Linda Crow of LEP, Any Wappler, Walt Blackford and Abby Elliott of PSE, Helen Price Johnson, Island County Commissioner and Tim Lawrence and Barbara Bennett of WSU Island County.
This has become a great example of WSU Extension’s mission to address community needs by bringing the resources of the university to local communities in combination with solid public/private collaboration.
The stars aligned to make Mussel Fest 2015 one of the most heavily attended in years. Thousands thronged to Coupeville to enjoy the beautiful weather and delicious food. Most found their way into the Wharf breezeway as they sampled Kim’s chowder and lined up for boat tours of the mussel farm. The crowd was a varied mix of children and adults – all ages.
Since we are working right now to update the wharf interpretive center, this was the perfect opportunity to find out what people want to know about our beaches, waters and marine mammals – especially our skeletons: Samson, Rudy and Rosie. Paul Bigelow (class of 2014) and I set up shop in the breeze way and interviewed about 40 people each as they looked up at the skeletons, read the panels and looked at the plastics display.
Here’s what we learned: There is no question the story of plastic pollution is powerful and leaves an impression – kids gravitated to the pictures and understood much of what they were seeing. Lolita’s story required some telling – people just did not stay long enough to put all the information together, but when told that she was captured here and has spent her life performing and away from her family – quickly gained new interest (and concern).
I had a wonderful interaction with a group not from the area who told me they thought Penn Cove was the ocean. Note to self: we need a good satellite image of where Penn Cove is in relation to the coast and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. My favorite discussion, though, was with a little boy who did not realize we all have bones inside us – like the skeletons of our marine mammals. When I suggested he feel the bones in his arm, he thought the whole idea was just gross! Note to self: an x-ray image of our mammals showing how the bones fit is not a bad idea.
Thanks Paul for helping with the Mussel Watch inquiry team.