People For Puget Sound Hails Smith And Minor Islands Reserve Designation


Conservation group People For Puget Sound today hailed this week’s designation of Smith and Minor Islands as a state aquatic reserve and adoption of its management plan by the Department of Natural Resources.

“We are excited and extremely pleased that DNR Commissioner Goldmark is taking this forward-looking step,” said Dave Peeler, Director of Programs for People For Puget Sound. “This reserve protects one of the largest bull kelp beds in Puget Sound and protects the nesting and feeding areas of many species of seabirds that have significantly declined in Puget Sound.  Two birds in particular, rhinoceros auklets and tufted puffins, will benefit enormously from the reserve.  Protecting important habitat like this is critical to reverse the serious decline of Puget Sound populations of fish, birds and other marine life.”

In 2008, People For Puget Sound nominated this area off the west coast of Whidbey Island as an aquatic reserve, and over the past year has participated on the Planning Advisory Committee that helped develop the management plan.

Adoption of the reserve’s management plan will culminate several years of effort and hard work by People For Puget Sound and other organizations and individuals to create this reserve in order to restore and protect the important marine resources it contains.

The reserve contains a diversity of physical habitats and seaweeds that are essential for the reproduction, foraging, and rearing success of many fish and bird species.  One of the primary goals of the reserve is the protection and preservation of the largest bull kelp bed in our state. The reserve is critical to the survival of seabirds in Puget Sound.  For example, these islands, along with Protection Island, are the sole remaining areas in Puget Sound where Rhinoceros Auklets nest and are concentrated.  In addition, it is also the only area where tufted puffin nests continue at historical levels.  The reserve provides necessary foraging habitat for these and many other seabirds.

A public signing ceremony will be held at 10 am on October 14, 2010, at the beach picnic shelter at Fort Ebey State Park, 400 Hill Valley Dr., Coupeville, WA 98239.

Save Our Sound.

People For Puget Sound works with people for a clean and healthy Sound. Since 1991 we have protected and restored habitat through education and action.

The DNR Site to look at the whole project and process is  here…

One Response

  1. WHAT WONDERFUL NEWS !!! This is a very auspicious beginning of saving special areas. Great thanks to all who lent a hand, and bore some of the effort!

Comments are closed.