Friday, March 27, 2009

Rain Gardens, Lagoons, Heronries and Cold Storage

Fridays are field trip days for our WSU Whatcom County Extension, Beach Watchers Program class series. This week, three trips in one day!
First up, we learned about the benefit of rain gardens for stormwater management and their basic how-to. WSU, Pierce County, Low Impact Development has a great handbook on building a rain garden at Rain Garden Handbook. Our class walked to the parking lot of a nearby credit union to view their rain garden.
More photos from the rain garden.

Gifted at entertaining an audience while conveying his message, Glen "Alex" Alexander, the education director at Padilla Bay Interpretive Center, provided us the basic information we needed before we headed out to the Post Point Lagoon to observe the marine habitat in and around that lagoon.
Learning the importance the ongoing restoration project at Post Point has in helping to maintain a healthy marine environment and how replanted eelgrass growing in the lagoon creates a valuable habitat for wildlife in the area, we watched as Great Blue Herons landed and perched on the tree tops and observed their heronery.
Then it was time to put the net in the water to see what kind of creatures we could find living in the lagoon. I like that our class gets to go where others cannot. This week, we jumped the fence!

Pulling the net to shore.

Discovering creatures in the Post Point Lagoon - from hermit crabs, tiny little shrimp, baby fishes and so much more, life abounds in this little pocket of the Salish Sea.

Photos from Post Point Lagoon.


A tour led by Tim Unger, the Squalicum Plant Manager, of Bellingham Cold Storage (BCS) was next for us and helped me realize the benefit that dredging the sediments in Bellingham Bay has to our local businesses and economy.

Bellingham Cold Storage tour photos.


An online tour of the Bellingham Cold Storage facility is available on their website. Follow this link - - to view. A live web cam that updates every minute set up at the Squalicum Bellingham Cold Storage dock. Click this link to see what is happening right now - (My home is less than one mile from there!)


Goals were discussed today in class. One of mine, to work outside near the tide pools - rather than in an office. It is time to feel the salt air, the sun, the wind and rain on my face - rather than fluorescent lighting and recirculated air.

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